Book Excerpt: Bang! By Linda Kaplan Thaler

Volvo began to buy into that strategy and by the early 1990s Schmetterer and his partners at Messner, Vetere, Berger, McNamee, Schmetterer, Euro RSCG presented a series of commercials that were testimonials by people who revealed that their life had been saved by their Volvo. The original tagline was "Drive safely"-often the last words we say when a friend or relative leaves the house to drive home.

Volvo finally agreed to run the campaign, and Donald Sutherland signed on to become the voice behind the ads. They succeeded beyond the company's wildest dreams. Volvo was soon the car of choice in suburban driveways. "The result was great for Volvo in terms of sales, but more important," says Schmetterer, "they now own the position of arguably the safest car in the world."

In an era when cold, hard facts rule the day, senior management and marketers are reluctant to just trust their instincts. Having "good instincts" usually means introducing messy emotions, which is anathema to today's rational businessperson. "When I come into a business situation," says Dr. Ona Robinson, "I see how terrified most employees are of their feelings. I change my whole dialogue when I work with a company. People feel vulnerable if they show their feelings in a business situation." At KTG, intuition has been our secret weapon. We recognize from many years of experience that our best ideas stem from an original creative impulse. Of course, we would never argue that facts, research, and left-brain thinking aren't crucial to the development of a Big Bang. They are. The difference is that we put intuition first. During the creative process, we encourage employees of KTG to listen to their inner voices to come up with ideas. Only then do we put our rational mind to work, to vet the idea and evaluate its merits. As nineteenth-century mathematician Henri Poincaré put it, "It is by logic that we prove. But it is by intuition that we discover."

How do we harness the power of intuition to come up with Big Bang marketing ideas? Here are some of the techniques we use:

Stop Ignoring Your Feminine Side

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