From the February 2007 issue of Entrepreneur

How can you be as innovative as possible in your branding? By thinking fast. Quick branding inspires creativity, says Lynn Altman, author of Brand It Yourself: The Fast, Focused Way to Marketplace Magic. "The best ideas happen sooner rather than later," she says. "Having forever to finish a project is the antidote to creativity." She suggests setting a deadline (say five to 10 days away) and focusing your branding brainstorming on the three things you want your brand to accomplish. Then create a list of positioning ideas--make it a sort of visceral, gut-instinct approach to branding--and go from there.

Doing that brainstorm with someone else can also boost your innovation quotient. Talk to someone you trust creatively and get their take on your ideas. "There's no law that says to be creative, you have to be creative on your own," says Altman. Talk about what resonates with each of you about other innovative brands, and discuss different ways to create that in your own brand. In the quickly changing marketplace, there's not a lot of time or money to spend on long, drawn out research to see what customers might respond to. "I'm not saying that no research should be done--research does have it's place," says Altman. "[But] by taking things from the long, slow approach, [you're] less likely to have that real spark."