A brand concept uses the brand idea, consumer insights, functional and emotional consumer benefits, and support points. Only a fool would start writing a brand concept statement without doing the necessary brand positioning homework. This also works for both brand concept testing and innovation testing.
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. They try to “pass the test.” But then after they get a winning score, they realize 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 or product concept
With all the homework you have done on the brand positioning statement and a 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 example
- 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 your homework on brand positioning
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).
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
Here's a B2B concept example
And, it works for healthcare
This type of thinking is in my book, Beloved Brands
Learn how to think, define, plan, execute and analyze
- You will find strategic thinking models and examples for each of the four strategic thinking methods, looking at core strength, competitive, consumer, and situational strategies.
- To define the brand, I will provide a tool for writing a brand positioning statement as well as a consumer profile and a consumer benefits ladder. I have created lists of potential functional and emotional benefits to kickstart your thinking on brand positioning. We explore the step-by-step process to come up with your brand idea and bring it all together with a tool for writing the ideal brand concept.
- For brand plans, I provide formats for a long-range brand strategy roadmap and the annual brand plan with definitions for each planning element. From there, I show how to build a brand execution plan that includes the creative brief, innovation process, and sales plan. I provide tools for how to create a brand calendar, and specific project plans.
- To grow your brand, I show how to make smart decisions on marketing execution around creative advertising and media choices. When it comes time for the analytics,
- I provide all the analytical tools you need to write a deep-dive business review, looking at the marketplace, consumer, channels, competitors and the brand. Write everything so that it is easy to follow and implement for your brand.
You will learn everything you need to know so you can run your brand. My brand promise is to help make you smarter so you can realize your full potential.