What is the Normstorming card?
Pinpoint stale clichés so you can avoid doing the same thing as everyone else.
Every product, audience, and market has its own set of norms. Some of these are useful (they might help customers know what to expect), but often they become unquestioned orthodoxies.
“Orthodoxy is not thinking, not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.” – George Orwell
How to use the Normstorming card
1. Before your group session, gather 5–10 examples of content, products or services that address the same (functional or emotional) need as your own. Share these with everyone, and ask them to list as many commonalities as they can.
Tip: websites or apps are a good starting point, but analysing advertising and other communications will give you a more complete picture of what’s going on. Norms observed could be anything from language used, visual styling, or where people advertise, for example.
2. When you come back together, ask each person to talk for 5 minutes about what they discovered. The other members of the group should note down anything that surprises them.
3. Spend 10 minutes listing and discussing the observations as a group, under these headings:
• Did any norms feel like they shouldn’t be challenged? Why?
• Were any competitors already breaking conventions? How?
• What do we now know about our own space that we hadn’t articulated before?
4. Ask everyone to individually produce a T-Bar that summarises a single orthodoxy that you could let go of (or rebel against) in order to unlock new creative options.