IAF Methods

Imaging Markets

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180 + 11 - 25
This can be a part of a marketing planning process or as a way of creating images of clients.
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To create a series of images of the client to use as a way of improving relationships and to be excited about a new series of images of the client.


You will be able to upload attachments once after you create the method.


  • paper
  • markers
  • etc.



Setting: A series of pictures or images - see file, paper and drawing materials.

Types of participants: any who have some direct contact with the clients.

Pre-Work Required: prepare the images and duplicate for each person in the workshop

Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: This workshop is a bit different for most managers and so it needs to be explained carefully



  1. We want to look at our image of the client and see what those images tell us. We will be using a technique created by Garth Morgan in his book Imagination: The art of Creative Management.
  2. We will be using a lot of creativity and our own imagination for this exercise. The exercise can be used in a number of ways. It can look at any relationship, your style of teaching or managing, the management team, clients, suppliers, etc.


1. Turn to page ____ in your workbook. Look at the images on the page (This might be supplemented with an overhead slide or flipchart picture)

2.  I want you to think of one of your clients that is fair representative of all your clients. Think of any image that comes to mind about that client. It can be a bird, plant, animal, or a character from TV or a storybook. You can use the images from the sheet to think of one.

3.  After you have thought of an image, I want you to reflect on it for a few minutes. Take a few minutes and write on a sheet of paper your answers to these questions

  • What are some aspects of the image?
  • What is it about the client's personality, style or behaviour that brings these images to mind?
  • What are the positive connotations of this image?
  • What are the negative connotations of the image?

4. We want to spend some time reflecting on these images.

Get several people to share their images and as they tell about their image put the image on the board and write down the positive and negative aspects.

  • Who would like to volunteer to share their image?

  • Tell us who the client is
  • What is the image?
  • What the positive and negative connotations of the image are.

5. When every one who wants to volunteer has made their comments start doing a comparison of the images.

Note:: It may not be necessary for everyone to put up their work but I can see the advantage of doing so.

  • What are some of the common themes of these images?
  • What are some of the common themes in the strengths?
  • What are some of the common themes in the weaknesses?

Team Work (Divide the group into teams of 4 or 5 people each.)

6.  Now  we want you to create a picture of the relationship between you and your clients. It is best for each of you to create one first, then you will share your relationship picture with a small team

Share your pictures with your team and select or combine aspects of each into a single picture. Put the picture on a flip chart and bring it back in 20 minutes. This must be done in a very intuitive way.

Check for any questions!

7.  When the teams are done have them regather and put up their drawings.

Have each team explain their drawing. Ask for a volunteer team to go first.

  • Explain the picture!
Questions to clarify understanding:

  • Where is the client?
  • Where are you?
  • What connects you and the client?

Repeat this step for each team and their picture

8. Exploring the client relationship and how to improve it:

Which of these pictures most accurately captures the essence of your relationship with your clients? We want to spend a few minutes exploring this relationship:

  • What are some of the different elements of the picture?
  • What are positive aspects?
  • What are negative aspects?
  • If we were going improve the connections, using the metaphor of the image, what should be done? (For example, the picture is of a gardener [participants] in a garden [clients]. We could weed, water and fertilize the garden more. What would weeding look like with between you and your client? etc.)

Conclusion/Debrief of activity

  • What are some of the things we did this session?
  • What was interesting?
  • What was boring?
  • What did you discover about your relationship with your clients?
  • What might change in your relationship?


Follow-Up Required: A plan for changing the relationship with the client is one kind of follow up.

Usual or Expected Outcomes: a series of images or visual metaphors of the clients

Potential pitfalls: If the group has no direct contact with the clients then it can be pretty fuzzy

How success is evaluated: New and exciting image of clients are generated.


Source: Jon Jenkins

Derived from: Garth Morgan Imagination: The art of Creative Management

History of Development: this was developed by Imaginal Training for an NGO to look at internal customers.

Alternative names: Images of Customers

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