Design + Strategy

Why Your Brand Deserves a Concept


Jason Clark
Jason Clark

on 10/28/2022

What is a Brand Concept?

Brand Strategy Series

Using the parlance of our time, Ben’s right. At its simplest understanding, the Brand Concept is your vibe. Who is your organization on an emotional level? I would ask you in our process… “What do you want your audience to feel about you when they think about your brand?” It must be simple. It must be understandable, and it must resonate loudly with your audience.

First impressions being what they are, it is our job, once a Brand Concept is established, to develop your identity and collateral materials around this concept.

Why is it important?

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. It’s really that simple, and that important. The concept rolls up all the brand strategy work we do, which is deeply understanding the following:

  • Your audience
  • Your brand pillars, unique value propositions, etc
  • Your business goals and objectives
  • What adjustments are necessary to realign your brand with changes in the market, or your offerings

The Brand Concept is meant to entice your audience at the top of the funnel, AWARENESS, and make your brand memorable in a significant way that makes a strong impression. It is yours to own. In my Positioning for Differentiation blog post, I claim:

A well positioned company is not afraid of their competition

A strong concept is a statement that only you can make, which makes a strong first impression and stakes a claim that your competition simply can’t.

Great Brand Concept Examples

Client: Louisville Collegiate School
Brand Concept: “Limitless”

When Louisville Collegiate School asked us to refresh their brand, we landed on the concept of “Limitless”. If you attend the school, or send your child to Collegiate, their world and their options become “Limitless”. Since they did not want us to redesign their logo, we used illustration, photography, and copywriting to build out the concept. The cornerstone of the concept is the photography and the design. We took photos of school kids looking out on the world from behind, out at their future and the possibilities inherent in their education. The design breaks out of their borders, and the copy is very inspirational.

"Limitless" ties Collegiate’s unique approach to education with the results it produces. Collegiate removes the limits. It allows students the freedom to explore different subjects and extracurricular activities in a way few schools can (or even attempt to) match. Collegiate also expands their worldview, and exposes them to ideas, people and cultures far beyond the confines of it’s campus. This approach helps students believe anything is possible, and gives them the foundation to make that belief a reality.

See full case study here

Client: Kentucky Performing Arts
Brand Concept: “Moments of Impact”

Most people remember their first school field trip to the Kentucky Center, seeing either an orchestra performance, Broadway play, or other memorable event. These are the moments that impact us most, to see, hear, and experience the arts and how they move us and impact their lives. The concept was embellished with an identity system that brought all their sub-brands together in an energizing new system.

Can you feel it? Can you hear it? There it is, thrumming through every building, street, lane, and alleyway. The restless, boundless, joyous artistic spirit in our community.

For over 30 years, Kentucky Performing Arts has been tapped into that energy, feeling the vibes, listening to the rhythms and working every day to bring Louisville and the surrounding community the best of the performing arts - from childhood to adulthood and every step in between.

We’re driven by that energy - it’s who we are.

See full case study here

The Value of a Brand Concept

Having a distinct brand concept brings tremendous value to your organization. It is an investment that will last years, and works to accelerate your communication objectives.

  • It gives your creative expressions a central theme, and guides the development of that work
  • It gives your internal culture a boost by giving your staff aspirational but achievable brand goals
  • It saves time and resources in developing ad campaigns, social media content, and other time-consuming marketing tasks
  • It is tuned to speak directly to your audience, their needs and motivations
  • It creates value for the company, as a strong brand is one consideration in business valuations

Contact us if you think our approach is a match for your needs.

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