Concepts and ideas : who needs them?

Concepts and ideas : who needs them?

Chances are big that you’ve worked with a communication agency before, and if not, time to get in action. Of course you give them good briefings to put them on the right track. Of course they return after some time to entertain you with a live presentation including a proposal.  Hopefully that brings you that Columbus’ egg feeling or a Vicky The Viking moment.

During that pitch presentation sentences like ‘The concept is…’ or ‘We present you a number of groundbreaking ideas that will…’ will be inevitably used. Nothing wrong with that, but reality teaches us that both words are regularly used without really knowing what they mean.  The difference is important, though.

So give us a chance to lift a tip of the veil, especially for you blog readers.

“An idea is an original extrapolation of a concept. It feeds it and it keeps the attention span of your customers going.”

The difference between concept and idea.
A concept is like a ‘Fil Rouge’. Everything produced should refer to it.
A good example ? ‘Audi. Vorsprung durch Technik’
An idea is an original extrapolation of that concept. It feeds it and it keeps the attention span of your customers going. And if an idea doesn’t result in this, it’s a bad idea, how nice it may look.
An example, starting from Audi’s concept : an Audi Quattro jumping of a… ski jump.
• For one-shots, just an idea might do, but it’s not an ideal approach. On the long term, it doesn’t help building your brand perception. It’s nice, but negligible, often cannibalised by competitors that know that an investment in a true brand concept will yield more.
• So : don’t accept ‘just’ ideas. If you do, the process of enhancing your brand quickly becomes a never-ending horror story.

Did you know?
When Volkswagen USA asked Bill Bernbach (DDB) in 1964 to position the VW Beetle, they just told him 2 things. (Indeed it was a very short briefing) :
1. The Beetle can’t compete with US muscle cars : it’s smaller, has less comfort and options, uses an underperforming engine,…
2. On the other hand, its manufacturing process is much less complicated, thus less prone to breakdowns.

Bernbach did his homework and returned with a concept : ‘The most reliable car’. More even, he pitched an idea that was embedded in that concept : ‘So trustworthy that…’

You’ll find the result of his labour here : a concept that lived on for several decades, and an idea that proved why that concept was … that concept. Enjoy.

Oh, and we’ll more than glad to show you our own concepts and ideas. Fancy a cup of coffee to talk it through?