Keys to Great Creative Concepts

Consumer insights on great creative concepts

Thanks to Financial Marketing Solutions for their presentation at the ABA’s Bank Marketing Conference.  Tim Pannell and his wife and business partner, Laurie Campbell Pannell, are doing great work for banks and provided the following keys for creative that are relevant to any marketer and any media.

A unifying brand concept is needed for a brand to rise above complex challenges: your brand versus your competitor; retail versus commercial; brand versus complementary or supplemental product or service; great-grandmothers’ usage habits versus those of the millennial generation.

A great concept is:

  • A reflection of your unique brand, distilled into words and images
  • Clever and memorable
  • Briefly stated and clear
  • Benefits-driven from the customer’s perspective
  • Not easily misconstrued for any other brand

How do you create a good “concept” for a campaign? How do you
distill your brand’s intrinsic characteristics into a succinct core

  • Write down the most obvious concept. Then throw it away. It is tired and boring.
  • Write down all the most obvious benefits.
  • Write down all the ideas associated with the benefits.
  • Brainstorm from there.
  • Brainstorm an appropriate, positive and attention-getting visual.
  • Edit, edit, edit your ideas. The best concepts are simple. “A confused buyer doesn’t buy.”

How do you know you have a good concept? You think it’s a great
idea, but will everyone else?

  • Create a focus group to review your concept.
  • Be your own focus group. Review and adjust so that all points of view are considered.
  • Review the concept from your customer’s point of view.
  • Review it from your executive team’s point of view.
  • Review it from your neighbor’s point of view.
  • Review it from your parent’s point of view.
  • Review it from your children’s point of view.

When you can present an idea that is clear to all audiences, offensive to no one, and memorable and well received, you are on to a great concept.

Common Mistakes Made in Developing a Concept:

  • Too wordy, too complex, too confusing
  • Too arrogant, too focused on your brand and not the customer
  • Not clever enough or unique, not really saying anything we don’t already know
  • No clear call to action

When you can cover up your brand name and the concept works just as well for your competitor, your concept is not great, or even good. It is no concept at all.

Do you create and run GREAT creative concepts?

About Insights From Analytics

Integrated marketing professional who generates insights from analytics to increase revenue. Daily blog now resides at
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