There are some very successful design researchers who routinely ask customers to write love notes or break up notes to their brands. This creative and fun approach can (often unwittingly) get powerful insight into the perceptions of customers.
Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks, professor of management at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, talks about the importance of challenging your question to ensure you are solving the right problem.
In 2012, The Walters Art Musuem hosted an event that invited the technology and creative communities to work together to build programs and applications inspired by art or to address specific challenges faced by museums. The event gave them some concrete ideas for programs and applications but it also gave them a new way to approach their work.