Only a fool would start writing a brand concept statement without dong the necessary 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, including consumer insights, benefits and support points, and the work from your big 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.
Do your homework of your Brand Positioning Statement
Most of the meat of a good concept comes from the work you do with a positioning statement. Make sure you go deep to understand who you are selling to and what you are selling. Brand Positioning Statements provide 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 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).
The ideal positioning has a tightly defined target based on demographics and psychographics as well as moments in life they may be going through relative to your brand. There should be a brand promise that has a balance of emotional and rational benefits and then supporting reasons to believe (RTBs) that back up the main promise. Don’t just throw out random claims you have but make sure the RTB’s fill in any gaps in the promise.
Great concept statements connect quickly, based a real consumer insight
While a concept doesn’t directly call out the target, the best way to connect quickly with the target is to lead off with a really impactful insight or problem they might be facing, that lets them know you get them. I always end up with debate over people of what an insight is. Too many people think data, trends and facts are insights. Facts are merely on the surface—so they miss out on the depth–you need to bring those facts to life by going below the surface and transforming the facts into insights.
To demonstrate knowledge of that target, defining consumer insights help to crystallize and bring to life the consumer you are targeting. The dictionary definition of the word Insight is “seeing below the surface”. When insight is done right, it is what first connects us to the brand, because we see ourselves in the story. Insight is not something that consumers didn’t know before. It’s not data or fact about your brand that you want to tell. That would be knowledge not insight.
Insight is something that everyone already knows and comes to life when it’s told in such a captivating way that makes consumers stop and say “hmm, I thought I was the only who felt like that”. That’s why we laugh when we see insight projected with humor, why we get goose bumps when insight is projected with inspiration and why we cry when the insight comes alive through real-life drama.
Added to the insight, a concept can really come to life when you lead off with the consumer’s enemy. Beloved Brands help consumers counter a problem in their life. Who is the Enemy of your consumer? Picking the enemy gives your brand focus and another way of bringing insight into your brand positioning.
Focus on a big idea that summarizes the brand promise
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 Brand Positioning statements, follow this step by step process in this link: How to Write a Brand Positioning Statement
Once you have a brand positioning statement, you need to figure your brand’s big idea. There is value in turning your positioning into a 7 second pitch. What is your “SHOUT FROM THE MOUNTAIN”. It forces you to want to scream just ONE THING about your brand—keep it simple. You can’t scream a long sentence.
Turning the positioning statement into a brand concept
Too many brand leaders write elaborate concepts that include everything. In reality, you won’t be able to execute everything. There’s no value in getting a concept to pass a test and then be unable to execute: narrow it down to one simple benefit and 2 RTBs.(reasons to believe) Looking at the example below, taking the information from the concept from above using Gray’s Cookies, here’s how to map it into a concept.
- The main headline should capture the Big Idea of your brand. The headline will be the first thing consumers see, influencing how they will engage with the concept.
- Start every concept with a consumer insight (connection point) or consumer enemy (pain point). If you can captivate the consumer to make them stop and think, “That’s exactly how I feel,” they will be more engaged with your concept. The enemy or insight must set up the brand promise.
- The promise statement must bring the main 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.
- Support points should close off any gaps consumers may have after reading the main benefit. An emotional benefit may require functional support to cover off any doubt created in the consumers mind.
- Complete the concept with a motivating call-to-action to prompt the consumer’s purchase intent which is a major part of concept testing.
- Adding a supporting visual that fits is optional
Anything more than this, you are just cheating yourself. Yes, you might have a better score, but you might not be able to execute it in the market. If you haven’t narrowed down your claims or RTB’s, maybe you need a claim sorting research before you get into the concept testing.
Brand Concept Examples
You can build a brand concept for any type of brand. Here’s an example of a B2B brand concept.
The same brand concept model also works for healthcare brands
It can work for build a brand concept for a tech brand:
And finally, it can work for building a brand concept for a service oriented business as well.
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 writing of the final concept options. We promise to bring magic to the concept which will help get you into the right positioning.
For a presentation on how to write a Positioning Statement, follow:
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