Everyone talks about it. Everyone craves for it. But not all actually get to it.
No, this isn’t about any premium category limited edition product. It’s something more ‘exclusive’ than that. Something that makes a common product struggling with zero leads, a bewitchingly exclusive brand that millions are oversubscribed to. It’s what marketing strategists and creative people in advertising lovingly call the `Big Idea’.
Yep, the secret selling point of any clever marketer ever lived here is the `Unique Concept’ aka ‘Big Idea’.
What’s so unique about the Unique Concept is it is your single chance to survive in an over-flooded market.
So what in fact is a Unique Concept?
In simple words, a unique concept is the underlying message in an ad campaign. It’s the big idea at the centre of advertising experience which is kept intact, though the ad copy and visuals may change to attract viewers.
Take a look at these masterpiece ads.
Apple became the world’s leading computer manufacturers, not just because they sold a very good product. But because they sold it quite differently from the existing market. Master Card could win the hearts of people around the globe, not because they were the only reliable financial service providers, but they were able to create the consumer connection critical to brand success. FedEx could become the world’s best express delivery service, through their exclusive brand communication, pegged on the Big Idea ‘The World on Time’.
That’s the power of the Unique Concept!
Analyze the market you belong to. Frankly speaking, how many other people are there who are offering the same product or service as you do? Numerous, right? That’s why you need a Unique Concept. Because, there’s nothing as powerful as a unique concept or big idea that can `move masses’, and make them queue up in front of your shop.
Well then, what makes a big idea SO BIG that you can’t do without it?
Because this whole business of attracting customers and making revenue through marketing is based on a very simple principle:
Differentiate and Rule
Differentiation is one of the most important tactical and strategic activities in persuasion, which is the core aim of marketing communication. People aka customers absolutely don’t want anything ordinary.
Because no one likes to be termed as ordinary. So, you have to make them believe that your brand is something special, the benefits of which you will never get anywhere. It’s all about how you position your brand/product in a market, which already has so many to choose from.
Copying the sales strategy of your competitor therefore will not work here. You have to develop a unique approach to launch your product or to rebrand an existing one. A Unique Concept is in simple terms such an approach. It’s all your own. You telling your story in a way no one else has told it.
Take Apple for example. Why do they remain masters when it comes to branding? They could have sold their electronic products just by talking about their features. But for then, there are other electronic manufacturers as well. They are taking the same approach.
So Apple, as clever they are, `thought differently’. They didn’t do any product overhauling.
With a single `Think Different’ campaign, they conquered the mindset of their customers and created the difference they were longing for.
So, what constitute a Unique Concept?
A Big Idea is often decided by two important components: What is told and How it is told. If you analyse Unique Concepts, you could see they are mostly composed of three fundamental elements, an unequivocal truth, a heroic solution, and a one line phrase.
Eg: Master Card
Unequivocal truth: There are things/feelings that you cannot buy with money.
Heroic Solution: Even that things can be possessed with the Master Card
One-line phrase: Priceless Surprises
How can you arrive at a Unique Concept?
To begin with, this is no easy job. You have to do a lot of brain work before you reach an arresting concept. Well, to someone truly lucky, it can come in a moment too. To simplify the process, you can apply any of these approaches in cracking the Big Idea:
George Lois, American Art Director and Author says the spontaneous approach in creating concept is to allow the idea to form naturally from the marketing challenges that you are facing. How to do that? Simple. Follow these things:
# Start out blank with an open mind, make no assumptions
# Forget the trends and traditions surrounding you
# Don’t force it. Catch it from the air as it floats around you. 🙂
It’s to collect really valuable information from consumers by engaging in extensive market research. Most agencies take considerable time in developing a concept through the research approach. In this approach you need to:
# Conduct consumer/market research
# Summarize the results obtained
# Extract insights from the summary
# Distill the insights into a Big Idea
Well then, imagine you took any of these approaches and came about with a list of ideas or concepts. How will you know which has the potential to be your Unique Concept?
If you look at any of the highly successful Unique Concepts as given in above examples, you can notice at least a few of these characteristics:
> It appeals directly to the target audience
A big idea will hit home with the customer either in a rational or in an emotional way.
> It’s a break from conventional thought
It is so distinctive that it presents an utterly new and striking way of thinking, feeling or acting.
> It creates the buzz
It spreads like wildfire, people normally share their reactions to these emotionally charged, highly appealing and life-changing ideas.
> It boosts the brand image
A Unique Concept usually takes a brand to the next level.
> It is universal
Irrespective of the culture or language from where it is developed, a really big idea can strike resonance with humanity as a whole.
Well then, you’ve now the recipe clever marketers use to cook their concepts. Start phrasing yours.