Curiosity enriches your ability to think creatively and can help you build a unique vision for your brand. Advertising guru Leo Burnett said “curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” Cultivating curiosity allows you to tap into the power of ideas and originality – both crucial if you want to set your brand apart in today’s crowded marketplace.
In his new book, A Curious Mind, Apollo 13 and Beautiful Mind producer Brian Grazer offers a compelling argument for how curiosity can fuel ideas. He attributes his success to curiosity and says it should be as much a part of our culture as creativity and innovation. He says life isn’t about finding the answers, it’s about asking the questions. “Questions create a mind-set of innovation and creativity…It sparks inspiration in whatever work you do.”
Here are a few ways you can foster curiosity to expand your view of your brand:
1. Connect emotionally with your customers by developing a deep understanding of what drives them.
According to Grazer, “my strongest sense of curiosity is what I call emotional curiosity: I want to understand what makes people tick; I want to see if I can connect with a person’s attitude and personality with their work, with their challenges and accomplishments.”
2. Ask questions and really listen to the answers to better empathize with your consumers.
“Successful people imagine themselves in their customer’s shoes,” says Grazer. “Like coaches or generals, they also imagine what their rivals are up to, so they can be ready for the competition.”
3. Expand your curiosity as a way to uncover and spark ideas.
Media philosopher Jason Silva says that he believes “curiosity is the beginning of learning. Curiosity is a precursor to wonderment and awe. Curiosity put men on the moon and rovers on Mars.” His Shots of Awe series attempts to “awaken the wonder junkie in all of us” and encourages us to find patterns and connect the dots.
4. Develop curiosity as a way to open up your thinking to new observations and insights.
Walt Disney said “we keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
5. Don’t be afraid to ask the big questions.
World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking takes curiosity to a whole other level when he says “my goal is simple. It is complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.” He adds: “Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious, and however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”
It doesn’t take special training to expand your curious nature. Ever modest in his self-assessment, Albert Einstein said “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Take a look at Jason Silva’s thought on curiosity. It might light a spark in you to think about how you communicate your brand in a new and different way.
What are you curious about? Come up with a list of 10 questions you’d like to ask your customers, and ask them. Were you surprise with their responses?