Cube Crawling

A development of Morphological Analysis (a.k.a. Attribute Listing). Imagine Rubik’s Cube or a fruit machine. Each of the three axes of the cube, or reels of the slot machine, represent a key variable such as:

  • manufacturing process (reel 1),
  • packaging (reel 2) and
  • target market (reel 3).

Pull the lever of the slot machine to start the reels spinning, and see what combination appears, such as:

  • Reel 1: (extruded material)
  • Reel 2: (in a tube)
  • Reel 3: for (pregnant women).

Cube Crawling

(source: Safefood360, “Food Innovation & Creativity”)

Cube Crawling requires you to move from one box in the cube to the next replacing one element for another, e.g. product, process, raw material in order to emerge with new ideas.

Imagine your building as a tower block’. Imagine the number of rooms on each floor and visualize them as boxes’. Imagine you can crawl up or down through the floor and from one room to another. Imagine you are cube crawling’. Most food businesses can be compartmentalized or pigeonholed into various activities, sometimes related and sometimes each activity will function in isolation. Within your ‘tower block’, this can be visualized as being within adjoining rooms or on completely different floors.

Product life cycles are short and all businesses need to develop a constant stream of new products. Your products, and let us assume they are successful to your business, fit very neatly into one of the boxes in your tower block’. The cube crawling model requires you to move one box or cube, in any direction. You can label each axis of the tower block, for instance, process, market, product, and raw material. If you move one cube and change one parameter, then your new product is more likely to be successful. Move too many squares up, down, or sideways and your new product will fail.


  • Two finger Kit-Kat Bar
  • Four finger Kit-Kat Bar
  • Chunky Kit-Kat Bar
  • Small Chunky Kit-Kat Bar
  • Pringles
  • Small Pringles
  • Lunch Box Pringles
  • Very Tall Pringles

See also, Sword. Thank you Jeffrey Hyman for the slot machine analogy.