Stop worrying about whether you are thinking in or outside the box! And start executing!!
Without execution, an idea is little better than an empty box.
Pick an idea, think it through. Yes, ideas are important. Just don’t get hung up on how wonderful and polished an idea has to be before you try it. Make sure testing it doesn’t put you at too high a risk financially. Then test it, pay attention, revise and repeat.
Keep going. Cycle, after cycle after cycle.
What did and didn’t work about the idea? It’s rare when 100% of an idea either worked or didn’t work. Build on what worked. Discard what didn’t.
Successful marketing campaigns are often born from less-than-successful campaigns. Don’t get bogged down perfecting the idea. I’ll take a fourth-generation average idea (an average idea after being implemented, refined and improved four times) over that bombastic revelation you have, but have yet to test. Every time. And isn’t it true, testing an idea — putting it out there in front of customers — is the best way to perfect the idea?
Keep moving forward. Keep the cycles of testing and refining going. And be open about what you end up with. It might be a refined version of your original idea. But it might be something very, very different. Go where your experience in the market leads you.
So. . .
Iterate. Build on what worked. Discard what didn’t. And please, forget about the box.