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As a strategist, I uncover inconvenient truths, dress them up in a pair of horn-rimmed glasses, and call them insights.

But just like Warby Parker frames, there are the good, and then there are the great.

Here are a few elements that take insights to an all-seeing level.

They shed a new light

The best insights often combine elements that don’t normally mix. Here’s an exercise: Pick up a dictionary or consult a random noun generator. When you land on a word, see how it fits (or doesn’t) with your product or service. War and ice cream. Fertilizer and baths. IKEA lamps and tear-jerkers.

There’s no wrong answer. Just notice how seemingly non-sensical pairings can inspire you to see your challenge through a new lens.

They lean into drama

The best insights often lean into taboos and say the quiet part out loud. The greater the drama or tension, the more interesting and emotional the creative can be. Sounds like someone you’d love to have at a party, eh?

Take, for example, 1998’s “truth” campaign. It made a spectacle, yes, but it also made a very effective and rather revelatory point about the ramifications of Big Tobacco. (The kind Leo the D.A.R.E. Lion could only dream of.)

They change minds

Insights exist to shift perceptions. So, acknowledge the current circumstances and bridge the gap to where your brand wants to go.

For example: many people have wildly outdated yet deeply ingrained gender biases. So #LikeAGirl from Always turned a derogatory phrase into an empowering rally cry.

Another truth: people fear death (from what I hear). So we positioned Lake View Cemetery as an extended trip to paradise to show that a resting place can also be rejuvenating.

With enough practice, you can get people to reconsider your entire category—and they’ll remember you fondly as the brand who helped correct the error of their ways.

Now that you see the value of an eye-opening insight, you’ll never have to blindly stumble through a project again.

Have a totally visionary weekend, everybody!

—Your ostensibly-optically-gifted friends at Brokaw

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