"An idea must come from somewhere, because if it merely stays where it is and doesn't join us here, it's hidden. And hidden ideas don't ship, have no influence, no intersection with the market. They die, alone." – Seth Godin
That "somewhere" turns into the Holy Grail for brand managers and marketers. They understand: a brand sells ideas, not products; and for every idea to convert to sales, it needs to be not merely interesting but also meet brand identity and customer expectations.
How to know if a particular idea will convert?
Answer four questions to dot the i's and cross the t's.
1) Is your idea exclusive enough?
Exclusive for you or your creative team, the idea
may be not so for the market or the world. So, define the level of its exclusivity to know what percent of conversion to expect.
• Exclusive to your brand.
Try thinking on a global scale: What's in there for your consumers? If competitors have already covered the same ideas with the same approach, yours may have no luck to skyrocket.
• Exclusive to the niche.
Look at the idea from a different perspective and focus on its role for your niche. Planned and executed right, such ideas have chances to become game-changing.
• Global, exclusive to the world market.
It’s the "blue ocean strategy" level. Such ideas create totally new concepts, making the competition irrelevant. They create new demand and differentiate your brand at a low cost.
Does it hook the audience?
Brand ideas are what makes people remember you. So you need a hook (or better, two) to trigger a positive emotional response. But make those hooks relevant to your brand voice, mission, and values.
• Your brand identity: a vision that reflects the idea and its visual triggers (naming, slogans, brand colors, graphics, etc.)
• Unusual formats of representing your idea: interactive maps, video storytelling, creative merchandise, etc.
• A punchy landing page, insightful enough to resonate with user needs.
3) How much would you pay for it?
What's in there that would make others want to buy this idea? Use the strategy of field marketing: meet with customers, spend time in their environment, go by their cultural background and life experience. It will help to understand if they approve your brand idea and decide on the right tone of voice for representing it.
Appeal to their values with words and concepts they know and understand. And pay attention to their emotional triggers: use them when designing your brand idea.
4) Do you have all the instruments for its realization?
Create the document to describe:
• The idea itself: Write it down as a statement, explaining its central claim.
• Situation/Context: the target audience, where/in what situation they’ll learn about your idea.
• Insight: pain points the idea touches, a problem it solves.
• Concept: describe the idea's final form, explaining its start- and endpoints and providing a systematic plan on how you'll represent it.
• Realization: write down a step-by-step plan for idea's execution
Such a detailed scheme will help to see if the game's worth the candle. Also, you'll define all the idea’s weaknesses and threats to optimize its value proposition and your marketing strategy for better conversion.