New Product Idea Generation Companies

February 1, 2007

The Question

An ANA member said:

"Do any of you have personal experience with a proven new product ideation company or technique where consumers and clients work together to develop new product ideas?”

Response #1

At [our company], we have worked with Ideas To Go - both their Orlando and Minneapolis offices - and had very positive experiences. They work with what they call "creative consumers" who are trained in ideation and come from very diverse backgrounds. But, as brand managers and directors, we are right in the room with the consumers, not "behind the glass" - working together to ideate. I find, however, that this has been most successful with "out of the box" and "game changing" ideas - rather than line extensions - the creative consumers tend to dream TOO big when it comes to line extensions, but we came up with some really intriguing ideas for completely new products and promotions.

In addition, last May, we formed [an advisory board], which is 8 moms from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life...with the goal to get more consistent, immediate feedback from them on everything from product ideas to marketing messages. We interact with them in 3 ways - in-person meetings twice a year, where we have pulled them into product ideation sessions, quarterly conference calls and via online chats and message boards in a private, password-protected website. This has proven particularly effective in the development of messaging - we've not yet seen the product ideas come to fruition, although they are in the pipeline.

Response #2

Santiago Pujadas with Zer0 to 5ive has "Chalk Talk" sessions were he helps senior executives; Marketing and Product Development personnel develop new products and strategies. Santi can be reached at (610) 238-0450. I have copied him on this email. His website is

Response #3

When I was at another company we worked with a company called innovation focus in Pa.
The principal is Chris Miller. His email:,
Hope this helps.

Response #4

I recommend van Deursen llc., (860) 759 -4868

Response #5

Eric Baron of the Baron Group.

Response # 6

Highly recommend:
Christopher W. Miller, Ph.D.
Innovation Focus
(717) 394-2500, x20

Response # 7

Highly recommend:
Mike Murphy
Brand IQ
(323) 665-6089

Response #8

Someone who has done this in the past. I have not worked with her on idea generation projects but do believe she is very capable of leading that sort of an effort, either via brainstorming or by leading focus group sessions to uncover customer needs.

Her name is Debbie Gowan. She may now be working independently. This is the phone number that I have listed for's her home office phone (908) 470-1095.

Response #9

There are a few companies that come to mind:

  1. Ideas To Go -- 3 offices Minneapolis MN, Morristown NJ, Orlando FL (Christine Haskins)

  2. What If Innovation - Muldrum Duncan & Jen Ebert in NYC

  3. Ideo -- primarily a design firm that has a process for developing new product ideas via consumer insights and research.

Response #10

Here are a couple I think are worthy:

  • Sterling Rice Group
    Contact: Mike Walters
    Boulder, Co.
    (303) 381-6400

  • Henley Center Headlight Vision (HCHV)
    Contact: Lloyd Burdett
    (212) 462-8039

Response #11

I recommend BrainReserve (Faith Popcorn): (212) 772-7778

Response #12

No I don't have any experience with product ideation.

Response #13

I've not had experience with it.


"New Product Idea Generation Companies." ANA Market Research Committee; ANA Brand Management Committee, February 2007.