Once the firm Henckels became a hostage of its own innovations. The manufacturer created knives for potato cleaning, which were very convenient due to the plastic handle and the self-sharpening blade. The party was bought in a week, but then the sales stopped abruptly – they turned out to be so good that the housewives simply did not change them for new ones.
On the verge of bankruptcy, Henckels appealed for advice to the advertising agency Batton, Barton & Osbourne. During one week Bruce Barton racked his brains, but could not think of anything worthwhile. And then BB & O for the first time in the history of marketing decided to arrange a brainstorm.
For about 16 hours, about a hundred employees of the agency walked the corridors of the company, shouting associations to the words “knife”, “potato” and “cleaning”. While the idea did not illuminate one of the young couriers – he suggested painting the knife handles in the color of potato peel. And it worked – the women mistakenly threw the knives along with the waste, and came for new ones.
So Henckels came out of bankruptcy, BB & O received half a million dollars, Bruce Barton wrote a book that provided him with a comfortable life, and the whole world learned about the miraculous method for finding original solutions.74