how to write the perfect concept

by: PLAY

When something is still a seed of an idea, it can be tricky to showcase the product’s true potential.

Putting every aspect of your clever creation into words can feel like a mammoth task that you don’t have the time, enthusiasm or credentials to commit to (your role is far more strategic!). Add to this the fact that inconsistently written concepts can distort results - leaving you with insufficient grounds to make key decisions - and now you’re in a bit of a pickle!

In this article, we’re sharing a few quick wins you can use to improve your current concepts as well as some core principles to keep in mind during the concept creation process.


Common concept pitfalls to avoid.

Coming up with well-articulated concepts is hard, even for the best of us. We know how time-consuming it can be, so we want to ensure you don’t make any of these classic mistakes: 

  1. Not driven by a REAL consumer need: Is internal pressure to increase sales or grow profit margins clouding your judgement?
  2. Inconsistent concepts with poor visuals: You want to aim for comparable test results, so make sure consumers can react to each concept in an apples-to-apples kinda way.
  3. Extreme or exaggerated language: Use toned-down language like “sometimes” or “now and then” to avoid consumers rejecting the concept.
  4. Overly technical language, marketing jargon and catchphrases: Opt for consumer language in your brand’s tone of voice. A good test for this is reading your concept aloud to friends and family - do they get it?
  5. Telling consumers how they think or feel: Try writing “some people feel” instead of “you feel”. This is less intimidating and off-putting for consumers who don’t personally agree. (No one likes having assumptions made about them!)

A final word of warning: Don’t be tempted to build or mould a concept just to meet internal goals. You might think you can retrofit it afterwards, but that can backfire horribly (trust us, we’ve seen many a horror story!). Develop your concept properly from the start and you won’t have to watch money go down the drain. Remember, don’t give consumers what you have (or can make), give them what they need

concept-creation-in-housePLAY's ideal concept.

Writing solid, testable concepts is both an art and a science. You must have the right insight, benefits and reasons to believe as well as the correct process to bring the total package to life.

Through our donkey’s years of experience, we’ve found the perfect concept is about getting as close to the launched product as possible. This means your concept is: 

  1. Priced
  2. Branded
  3. Described in a way that matches up with your above the line support (e.g. you can dial up the brand story if there will be a TVC to tell that brand story, but otherwise, you should ensure the concept is in line with the information on the pack)

A good concept provides the solution to a real (not perceived), unmet consumer need. It offers clearly identifiable and motivating features/benefits with supporting evidence (or reasons to believe). It also concisely communicates the details of an idea to the intended consumer – much like a 30-second TVC. Like all good market research, a concept should tell a story… a clear and compelling story with no empty waffle or rambling!


We always recommend reviewing your current approach to look for opportunities for optimisation before creating a set of structural guidelines that allow every future concept to be written with consistency.

The result: Reliably fabulous concepts. Easily comparable test results. And if you hire professional help? Invaluable time and cost savings that allow you to focus on your zone of genius.


Over to you.

If all of this sounds like a lot of hard work that you don’t want (or can’t fit!) on your plate, then it’s time to call in the experts.

PLAY’s professional concept writing service makes the entire process quick and easy. We’ve written thousands of concepts and our secret sauce is designed to make your product or service truly come alive off the page.

Get in touch here or on or 02 8097 0200. We can’t wait to hear from you.

read it, love it, share it.

about the author


As the experts in consumer-led innovation in FMCG, we partner with manufacturers and retailers to lift the productivity and effectiveness of their NPD. It’s all in how we blend innovation advisory with tailored consumer insight using an agile, consumer-first approach. Think of us like the connective tissue within your innovation process. We guide you at every step of the journey, helping you align, focus and develop ideas and products that sell.

ask the author

related posts