How to set up a creative concept for your organization
A concept for your communication is, in short, a clear and powerful idea of what your organization or brand is and stands for. This concept can serve as the basis for your communication efforts.
A good (creative) concept is distinctive, has longevity, and is not initially focused on a specific communication medium. However, developing a distinctive concept requires a significant dose of creativity.
In this blog article, I will provide you with some guidelines for thinking outside the box to create a creative concept for your organization or brand.
Types of (creative) concepts
First of all, there are different types of concepts. These are not mutually exclusive and can overlap. Generally, there are four types of concepts:
- Effect concept: This type of concept showcases the result that follows from purchasing the product or service.
- Comparison concept: This type of concept positions your organization or brand opposite another organization or brand.
- Explanation concept: This type of concept explains the benefits of a product, how it works, and its key elements. This type is ideal for products with a story.
- Association concept: This type of concept establishes a connection between the brand and something else. It is particularly effective when aiming to appeal to the buyer's emotions and experiences with the product.
When brainstorming creative concepts, it is important to explore different perspectives. Therefore, let us examine common viewpoints: what are the assumptions about this subject? By reversing these assumptions and questioning them, you can generate entirely new ideas. Here is an example:
Assumptions about the library
Reversal of assumption
The library is only open during the day
You can only borrow and return books
You're not allowed to buy the books
There are only books
We organize a special opening night
The library delivers books to your home
You can purchase books (with a discount)
We add a coffee corner
Example questions to develop a creative concept
A questionnaire can also serve as a starting point for developing a concept. Below are 44 questions that can guide and stimulate the thinking process for a creative concept. Some questions also include examples.
What is it?
Where, when and how do you use it?
Why is it used?
What if everything is different?
What associations does it evoke?
How can you visualize it?
What can you do with language?
Note that your concept should be both broad and deep: broad because it should be applicable to various communication expressions, and deep because it should give substance to the brand and be usable for an extended period. You can evaluate the concept based on the following criteria:
- The concept should align with the communication objectives.
- The concept should be clear and simple: you can explain it in two sentences.
- The concept should be used consistently but still be surprising.
- The concept should fit the identity, vibe and style of the brand.
- The concept should be distinctive.
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Michels, W. (2010). Communicatie handboek. Noordhoff Uitgevers: Groningen.