Creative Thinking in Business With SCAMPER Method

By | February 2, 2015

I’d like to share about how to practice creative thinking in business with SCAMPER method. Generally, SCAMPER is used in research and development of products or services, but it can be adapted into broader situation. It aims to develop business ideas that already exist or create the business ideas that are really new.

This method includes a list of questions that would direct us to other alternatives and point of view from an existing business concept. Answer those question and do not criticize too early. Focus on generating ideas or possibilities as much as possible although you will probably get a strange idea.

SCAMPER stands for: Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to Another Use, Eliminate, and Reverse.


Replacing a component to increase value or improve performance.

“Is there any component of idea/plan/product/service that need to be replaced? Replaced with the other materials? Or by changing the process? Change its approach? Change its rules of the game? Its resources? Or, is there any component could be a replacement/substitution for other products? Etc.

For example, in marketing a business, some offline marketing activities started to be replaced by online marketing to reach out a wider market.

Printed promotion material was replaced by social media campaign which are more targeted. Budget rentals outdoor media like billboards are switched into a banner ads on the internet that have been tailored to the intended segments so that will be more effective & efficient.


Combine two things into one in order to be more valuable than when they’re apart.

What can be combined with this product to increase the value? Combination in terms of what? Combine their shapes? Or combine their functions? Combine their concept? Their system? Etc

Combining the concept of farming in the village and buildings in the city has generated the term known as ‘urban farming’. It forms a new lifestyle and allow the people in urban areas to plant, harvest, and sell their own crops to fulfil urban people’s need in getting fresh food.

lufa farm urban farming


Find more value from another field, or another environment, and adapt it into our fields.

Are there any other fields that have similarities in pattern with our field? Are there anything that can be adapted from them as an inspiration to enrich our ideas? What is it? Their system? Or their management? The superiority of their products? Their team spirit? Etc.

Believe it or not, ‘Minute Clinic ‘ – a health clinic managed to increase the speed and accuracy of their patients service by adapting the service system in fast-food restaurant. The clinic was able to simplify the mechanism in handling patients that previously complex with a consistent quality of service though done by different health practitioners.


Modifying a component to become more attractive, modern, unique,useful, or more acceptable to users.

What can be modified? Modifications in colour? Modifications in shape? Its voice? Its movement? Its smell? Its size? Its weighs? Its length? Its attributes? Its performance? Etc.

For examples, toiletries (toothpaste, shampoo, soap) that are made in smaller packaging size for the practicality of the traveler. Or many kind of cars – from sports cars to family cars that serve their own market. In same product category, there are elegant products for executives, and colorful products for teen market, etc.

creative thinking in businesses

Put to Another Use

Find out other functions of a product or a thing.

What are the other uses of these objects? Can we add its function? Can this product be used in other industry or other areas? Are there any other market segment can buy this product? Or, when the product has consumed, can it be recycled to produce other functions?

Nowadays, a cafe is not only as a place to eat and drink, but also have other functions, as the place of meeting, a coworking space, etc. There are some cafes that offers creative concept as a library, a game centre, or even a jail!

Read also: How To Create New Demand & Grab Wider Market


Reduce or eliminate a component that is not too important to make it more effective and efficient.

What can be eliminated? Or reduced? Or to be made simpler? Etc.

Low cost airlines (low-cost carrier) generally decreasing or eliminating additional facilities and only focus on the principal elements. There is also a leading computer manufacturer that cut its distribution chain and choose to receive orders and deliveries of its products directly to the buyer.


Reverse the elements to try new possibilities.

What if the inside become the outside? What if the above become the below? Or what if we reverse the rules of the game? What happens if we reverse the process? Reversing the flow of its thinking? Or what if we make the opposite of the previous ideas?

Learn how QB House reverse emotional approach that commonly practiced in barbershop industry into rational approach here.

qb house success story

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