How to write a winning brand concept

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To find a great brand concept you need a brand idea, consumer insights, functional and emotional consumer benefits, and the support points. Only a fool would start writing a brand concept statement without doing the necessary brand positioning homework.

If you start with a blank piece of paper, you will likely end up with a random chance at success. The brand concept combines the brand positioning statement work and the work from your brand idea.

Be realistic about the brand concept you build. Too many marketers try to jam everything into the brand concept, trying to “pass the test” but then after they get a winning score, they realize that they can’t execute the brand concept that just won.  You should think of your brand concept as you would a 30 second TV ad or a digital billboard.

how to write a brand concept

How to write a brand concept

With all the homework you have done on the brand positioning statement and brand idea, you have everything you need to write a brand concept.

Write your concept in as realistic a manner as possible. Narrow it down to one main benefit and two support points. It should be realistic enough to fit on your package, new product innovation, advertising copy, or your sales message.

Too many brand leaders try to write concepts that include everything. They put in a long list of claims and reasons to believe. There is no value in writing a concept just to pass a test, and then find yourself unable to execute that concept in the market.

The ideal brand concept

how to write a brand concept

  • The main headline should capture the brand idea. The headline is the first thing consumers will see, and it will influence how they engage with the rest of the concept.
  • Start every concept with a consumer insight (connection point) or consumer enemy (pain point) to captivate the consumer enough to make them stop and think, “That’s exactly how I feel.” Your consumers feel more engaged with your concept. The enemy or insight must also set up the brand promise.
  • The promise statement must bring the main consumer benefit to life with a balance of emotional and functional benefits. For Gray’s, I combined the “great taste” functional benefit and “stay in control” emotional benefit into a main brand promise statement.
  • The support points should close off any gaps that consumers may have after reading the main benefit. An emotional benefit may require functional support to cover off any doubt lingering in the consumer’s mind.
  • Complete the concept with a motivating call-to-action to prompt the consumer’s purchase intent, which is a significant part of concept testing. Adding a supporting visual is recommended.

Do the homework of your brand positioning statement

Most of the meat of a good concept comes from the work you do with a brand positioning statement. Make sure you go deep to understand who you are selling to and what you are selling. Your brand positioning statement provides the most useful function of taking everything you know about your brand, everything that could be said about the consumer and making choices to pick one target that you’ll serve and one brand promise you will stand behind. A best in class brand positioning statement has four key elements:

      • Target Market (1)
      • Definition of the market you play in (2)
      • Brand Promise (emotional or rational benefit) (3)
      • The Reason to Believe (RTB) the brand promise (4)

The classic way to write a brand positioning statement is to take the elements above and frame them into the following: For the target market (1) Brand X plays in the market (2) and it gives the main benefit (3). That’s because of the following reasons to believe (4).

How to write a brand concept statement brand positioning target market marketing training



This is how the positioning tool should lead you to a brand positioning statement that takes into account the target, category, benefit and support points.


For more information on how to write a brand positioning statement, click on this link: How to Write a Brand Positioning Statement


Brand concept examples

You can build a brand concept for any type of brand. Here’s an example of a B2B brand concept.

how to write a brand concept


The same brand concept model also works for healthcare brands

how to write a brand concept

It can work for build a brand concept for a tech brand:

how to write a brand concept

And finally, it can work for building a brand concept for a service-oriented business as well.

brand concept

While this helps with HOW to write a concept, ask Beloved Brands how we can help really bring the concepts to life with a workshop with your team as well as the writing of the final concept options.  We promise to bring magic to the concept which will help get you into the right positioning.

To learn more about this type of thinking, you should explore my new book, Beloved Brands.

With Beloved Brands, you will learn everything you need to know so you can build a brand that your consumers will love.Beloved Brands book

You will learn how to think strategically, define your brand with a positioning statement and a brand idea, write a brand plan everyone can follow, inspire smart and creative marketing execution and analyze the performance of your brand through a deep-dive business review.

To order the e-book version or the paperback version from Amazon, click on this link:

If you use Kobo, you can find Beloved Brands in over 30 markets using this link:

And if you are in India, you can use this link to order:


Beloved Brands: Who are we?

At Beloved Brands, our purpose is to help brands find a new pathway to growth. We believe that the more love your brand can generate with your most cherished consumers, the more power, growth, and profitability you will realize in the future.

We think the best solutions are likely inside you already, but struggle to come out. Our unique playbook tools are the backbone of our workshops. We bring our challenging voice to help you make decisions and refine every potential idea.

We start by defining a brand positioning statement, outlining the desired target, consumer benefits and support points the brand will stand behind. And then, we build a brand idea that is simple and unique enough to stand out in the clutter of the market, motivating enough to get consumers to engage, buy and build a loyal following with your brand.

We will help you write a strategic brand plan for the future, to get everyone in your organization to follow. It starts with an inspiring vision that pushes your team to imagine a brighter future. We use our strategic thinking tools to help you make strategic choices on where to allocate your brand’s limited resources.

Our brand playbook methodology will challenge you to unlock future growth for your brand

  1. Our deep-dive assessment process will give you the knowledge of the issues facing your brand, so you can build a smart plan to unleash future growth.
  2. Find a winning brand positioning statement that motivates consumers to buy, and gives you a competitive advantage to drive future growth.
  3. Create a brand idea to capture the minds and hearts of consumers, while inspiring and focusing your team to deliver greatness on the brand’s behalf.
  4. Build a brand plan to help you make smart focused decisions, so you can organize, steer, and inspire your team towards higher growth.
  5. Advise on advertising, to find creative that drives branded breakthrough and use a motivating messaging to set up long-term brand growth.
  6. Our brand training program will make your brand leaders smarter, so you have added confidence in their performance to drive brand growth.

To learn more about our coaching, click on this link: Beloved Brands Strategic Coaching

To learn more about our training programs, click on this link: Beloved Brands Training

If you need our help, email me at or call me at 416 885 3911

You have my personal promise to help you solve your brand building challenges. I will give you new thinking, so you can unlock future growth for your brand.


Graham Robertson

Founder and CMO, Beloved Brands Inc.

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Graham Robertson

Graham Robertson is one of the voices of today's brand leaders. As the founder of Beloved Brands, he has been a brand advisor to the NFL Players Association, Shell, Reebok, Acura, Jack Links and Pfizer. He's helped train some of the best marketing teams on strategy, brand positioning, brand plans and advertising. Graham's purpose is to use is marketing experience and provocative style to get marketers to think differently about their brands, and to explore new ways to grow. Graham spent 20 years leading some of the world's most beloved brands at Johnson and Johnson, Coke, General Mills and Pfizer, rising up to VP Marketing. Graham played a significant role in helping win Marketing Magazine's "Marketer of the Year" award. He has won numerous advertising and innovation awards including Businessweek’s best new product award. As a keynote speaker, Graham shares his passion for brands to challenge and inspire marketing minds around the world, whether speaking at Advertising Week, or at the NBA Summer League, or to a room full of marketers in Bangkok Thailand or an agency in New York. He's been a guest writer for Ad Age, and his weekly blog stories have reached millions of marketers, who are trying to improve their skills. His new book, Beloved Brands, has launched with rave reviews. Many brand leaders are using this book as a playbook to help build the brand they work on. And, it serves as a brand management textbook for business schools in the US, Canada and the UK. Graham’s personal promise is to help you solve your brand building challenges, to give you new thinking, so you can unlock future growth for your brand.

4 thoughts on “How to write a winning brand concept”

  1. Hi Graham:

    Another great post.

    I am a brand secularist at heart and acknowledge that there are many right ways to “God” and “Brand”.

    And as you know, I am an admirer of the “Beloved Brands” theology.

    But like you, I am open to some healthy debate.

    One concern that I have for the way that you have crafted your brand concept statement is that it is product centric.

    Gray would be missing out on other products and services that they could introduce if they made “the taste of guilt free pleasure” their single minded brand thought.

    I realise that your format was designed for arriving at great advertising briefs.

    But now with the consumer turning out to be your best copywriter, the more you could get them to talk about other guilt free pleasures that taste good, the more the “brand” would get championed.

    Also, by focusing on the ’emotionale’ of the brand, it’s easier to come up with augmented services that can become self-financing promotions of the brand.

    The second concern I have is that you seem to have suggested an emotionale is an option with “Brand Promise (emotional or rational benefit)”.

    I believe if you leave brand managers with the option of choosing between emotional and rational, they will state only ‘rationales’. Whereas you already have room for that in the ‘reason to believe’.

    As we all know, people buy brands with their hearts and rationalize with their minds.

    1. Hotspex has research to show that decisions are in on average 50% rational and 50% emotional. What I try to talk about is the balance of that, within the concept, and emotional can show up in the benefit or the reason to believe. I have faith that Brand Leaders will begin to find this balance.

  2. Graham, well done. I think this is a great summary of how to approach positioning without an ethereal lecture on the topic. The only thing I would add is that developing a great one requires a willingness to simultaneously push the boundaries AND maintain rigorous discipline which the format demands…..this is a great service to the marketing community.
    Barry O’Grady

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