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Technique N°5 - Define your problem’s limits

How defining the problem boundaries will help you handle the challenge!

At eÿeka we believe that everyone is creative as soon as one opens his mind and lets ideas flow freely. To help creators from everywhere tackle brand issues, we are providing you with Creative Techniques. Browse them, play with them and add them to your daily creative process to generate your best ideas!

Sometimes it’s difficult to generate ideas to solve a problem. Your creativity has dried up; your ideas are stuck in your head. Sometimes the problem seems too big. One way to get over it is to approach the challenge by focusing on its boundaries, then to find related scenarios.

Let’s take a look at the Duracell Entertainment Poster contest: “In a surprising and entertaining way, show how Duracell batteries are must-haves for everyone who wants their passions and hobbies to give them maximum entertainment value.

Focusing on the challenge limits can be done by asking questions about it. By defining the boundaries, your problem will seem smaller and more manageable.

  1. Try to answer the following questions about your problem:
    • Why should it be solved?
    • What do you know as certain and what is unknown?
    • What information is available to you? What is contradictory?
    • What are the limits of the problem?
    • What are the different parts of your problem, how are they related?
In our example, the problem is about “passions and hobbies”, “batteries”, “entertainment” and the Duracell brand. It is not about the Energizer brand, nor work related scenarios. Those elements define the challenge limits.
The problem is divided in some parts like: the batteries that are related to entertainment, passions and hobbies. And Duracell is tied to the batteries. 
  1. Once done, focus on the scenarios:
    • Do you know of a similar problem? How has it been solved? Can you use the solution or the methodology that worked?
    • What are the worst, best and most probable scenarios?

A similar problem can be the way Tesla Motors (automotive and energy storage company) promoted its electrical cars; or how Sony promoted the first Walkman allowing people to listen to music on the go (thanks to the battery). 

The problem becomes simpler to overcome once it is broken up into smaller parts and your answers will lead to new ideas.


Did you find new ideas to solve the problem? If yes, congrats! If not move on to the next technique!

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