Concept Development is your BFF. Never forget that.

A stitch in time saves nine. Get the concept?

An adage that’s possibly lost on today’s throw-away generation, “A stitch in time…” points out that the earlier you fix a problem, the less repair work you’ll need to do in the longer term.

In today’s agile business world, I think this applies more than ever. Even if you just look within the realms of copywriting, a single change of word can throw an entire campaign off balance. This leads to a stark choice: accept that effectiveness will be reduced due to disjointed messaging, or undergo a costly, time-consuming review.

But fixing words on a page is a drop in the ocean compared to the expense of backtracking on projects with physical assets and non-refundable commitments. Or the damage done by disappointing audiences through not delivering on expectations. Recovering a reputation doesn’t come cheap.

A stitch in time saves nine

If only I’d acted sooner to preserve this jacket, The Stranglers’ lyrics would still be intact

What’s your excuse?

Yet it still happens. Why? One reason could be insufficient investment in Concept Development. Maybe because thoroughness is sacrificed for speed, due to a shortage of time and/or budget? Maybe because egos stand in the way of being self-critical? Maybe because organisations aren’t even aware of the concept of Concept Development itself?

Taking the time to develop a properly thought-through concept, to establish a solid anchor BEFORE setting a project’s wheels in motion, is the vital action which will save you from costly backtracking later on. As long as you’re disciplined enough to stick with it, of course.

Best laid plans can still change

Sure, events, findings and ideas too significant to ignore may well emerge at a later stage. Try to keep a cool head. Assess these in the context of the concept. If they can’t be addressed within it, then the concept itself has to be revised. And all the work done to this point reviewed and realigned accordingly.

Making alterations which don’t fit into the agreed overall scheme will unravel your coordination. A bit like pulling on a snagged thread in your clothing, instead of carefully untangling it.

Every project needs a concept

Concepts, from which execution plans can be derived, are as relevant to developing business initiatives and designing events as they are to formulating promotional campaigns. At the time of writing, as our world is being turned upside down and inside out by COVID-19, Concept Development can also play a valuable role in business adaptation.

The process of exploring and rationalising ideas into a disciplined concept will clarify your thoughts, avoid the inefficiency of chaos, inspire relevant solutions and lead to satisfying outcomes. For your business, your stakeholders, your workforce, your (virtual) event attendees and your customers.

A copywriter isn’t just for advertising

As a Content Dragon who’s obsessed with end-to-end logic, I’m as tenacious about crafting plans that make sense as I am about putting them into words. Check out how my Concept Development services can help your business.