The Elephants’ 5 steps to concept success

A concept is a written statement that captures the core ideas behind a brand or a product/ service, which becomes the base to build a robust strategy. In this article we share our 5-step process to creating successful concepts, finessed over our 20 years in business.

Creating concepts is an art not a science. The best copy writers will know exactly what works for them and how to get into the mind of the audience of the brand or product/ service they are trying to capture. For us, the strongest concepts will always:

  • • Have a clear idea which is then clearly expressed
  • • Follow a structure centred around proposition, benefit & support
  • • Feel distinctive and unique, avoiding clichés
  • • Engage and excite the reader to find out more

But how to achieve that?

1. Answer the key questions

Start by answering the key questions to make sure you’re clear on exactly what information needs to be communicated. The questions you need to ask will vary depending on what type of concept it is you are writing; a new product/ service concept, or a brand positioning concept. Regardless of the type of concept, you should firstly be asking yourself what the purpose of the project is and what the client is seeking to know. Do they want to know which new product to launch, or the best way to position a new product? Do they want to create a completely new brand, or re-position an existing one?   

2. Identify the BIG thought

If you were to focus on just one thing, the most interesting and compelling aspect of the idea or brand, what would it be? It will be different from idea to idea, but it gives us a focal point for when we start writing the concept. Our top tip here is take yourself away from your computer and desk when at this part of the process. Go on a walk, visit a café or even just another room, pace the office, ideate with your colleagues – big ideas seldom come from staring at a screen.

3. Think about the structure

Most concepts follow a similar structure…

  • • SET UP / INSIGHT – This is optional. How can we set the scene / context for the idea?
  • • PROPOSITION – Describe in a sentence what the new product / service / brand is.
  • • BENEFIT – Outline the main benefit for consumers.
  • • REASONS TO BELIEVE – Supporting evidence to back up the proposition and benefit – e.g. ingredients, process, usage.
  • • ENDLINE – A catchy line that sums up the idea.

4. Tell a story and create excitement

Now it’s time to weave a compelling narrative build desire. Build the story through the concept, weaving a narrative around a clear context/ setting. Second, create desire – regardless of what the product or brand is, make audience feel inspired and motivated to buy or engage with it. Finally, be clear on the tone of voice and make sure all language is consistent and credible. If it’s a new brand look around for inspiration, if it’s established read up on their communication to get in their mindset.

5. Visualise it!

“A picture tells a thousand words.”

Nowhere is this saying more relevant than with concept writing. You may have the best copy ever written, but without imagery the audience will struggle to visualise what it is you are selling. Whether it’s a sketch of a new product or a beautiful moodboard, bring your concept to life!

To find out more about how we approach concept creation and how we can help your brand, please get in touch with us at bob@elephantscantjump.com.

The Herd

18.01.21