Concept Development isn't just about crafting an initial round of concepts from the best ideas. It's also about refining those concepts to optimize their messaging and impact—best done when utilizing the voice of your consumer. That's who the message is for, after all. So when it comes to concept refinement, there's nothing better than involving a group of Creative Consumers® associates, our highly articulate, imaginative, and creativity-trained consumers.
Here are just 5 good reasons why Creative Consumers® associates (CCs) make the best concept refinement partners:
They are trained in Forness® thinking. In fact, it seems to be a part of their natural fiber. You will never hear, “that one is perfect as-is, I wouldn’t change a thing,” or "I just don’t like that one at all.” Instead, one of the best things about having CCs in concept refinement is the intricate level of detail they will go into in explaining why they are “for” a part of the concept. By identifying what’s working and more importantly “why,” we reduce the risk of changing something that really worked well.
They are really great at identifying what isn’t working in a concept—and actually solving for it. Using language like, “I wish to find a better way to _________," they keep an open and positive mindset at the forefront, so when they get to the solving portion of the equation: "Wouldn't it be great if it had _________” they are already generating possibilities to make the concept stronger.
They are really great at pushing concepts out further—not just fixing problems. They know how to take a concept to the next level, without straying too far away from the core idea or insight. Coming up with an enhancement, additional component, alternative use, or even related products or services opens up an opportunity to promote more usage and greater customer loyalty.
They are really good with descriptive language and metaphors that help bring a concept to life. Because CCs are trained in lateral thinking techniques—like analogies and metaphors—they can dimensionalize something in a way that is both unique and relatable. They articulate what other people are thinking, but don't know how to say.
They know how to focus. A great thing about CCs in general is that they can either be open and free or they can focus on the issue at hand. If you have a concept where everything is great except the benefit (or texture or insight), they will focus on that one aspect like it is the only thing that matters to them on that particular day.
Refinement is about finding the sweet spot that succinctly communicates an idea in a way that is relevant, as well as remarkable. Whether you are refining a concept, prototype, message or visual, Creative Consumers® associates really can make all the difference.
Beth Storz is President and Innovation Process Consultant at Ideas To Go, an innovation agency that works with Fortune 500 companies in ideation and concept development to incorporate the voice of the consumer.
Beth Storz is President and Innovation Process Facilitator at Ideas To Go. She co-authored the book, "Outsmart Your Instincts: How the Behavioral Innovation™ Approach Drives Your Company Forward." Beth has been a guest on many innovation podcasts and her work has been featured in media outlets such as HuffPost and Fortune. Beth holds a BS in Business Management from Cornell University and a MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and has worked in brand management at some of the premier consumer packaged goods companies—including Unilever, Kraft and Nabisco. Since joining Ideas To Go, Beth has established herself as a leader in the Innovation landscape and designed and facilitated projects for hundreds of companies—from CPG to financial services to pharmaceuticals.