WTF is a Concept?

You’ve been working all your life for somebody else. Every job you’ve held has been about growing the success of the owner’s. While being a part of a team and striving to a unified goal is satisfying in the end it isn’t fulfilling. You’re ready to start your own food truck or brick and mortar.

It’s time to build your own castle.

Clearly you have the skills and abilities to do it. It’s been your life for years now and you’re not short on the talent to make it work. You’ve got the ambition and are gung-ho on starting.

But where do you start?

You know your industry and that’s the best place to begin. Unless you have passion in crocheting, I wouldn’t suggest you open up a wash cloth shop on Etsy. If you’ve been a sous chef for the past few years and cooking is in your blood, I think you know what needs to happen.

Deciding to start something is only the first step before many. Let’s say you’ve decided on starting a food truck. Let’s buy a truck, paint it, slap a logo on and get cooking!

Not so fast. You’re in the food business. You know that any successful business needs a concept. It’s no different when we start design on a logo. It’s the advice we give to everyone.

Concepts give us focus and direction. They are the underlying idea that truly drives everything. Without one we will have no idea what we are building.

Take my desk for instance. I needed a place to put my computer and dish of trail mix. Naturally the concept of a desk works perfectly but I could have just as easily put these things on the floor (of course then the dog would eat my blueberries and cashews and I’d be a sad panda).

Both the floor and a desk are concepts but only one best fit my situation. When coming up with your food truck concept, you need to figure out what best works for you and your customers.

Since this is your life now, you may as well start with yourself and figure out what it is you have a passion for. With that half of the equation you can start thinking about how it best suits your potential customers. How can you package products you like creating in a way that your customers like to buy.

Maybe you love making tacos (I certainly love eating tacos). You’re going to have to compete with all of the other taco trucks and shops out there, what makes yours stand out? As a customer, I find tacos can be messy. As a concept, a taco truck that sells mess free tacos might do well.

How those mess free tacos come to be will be up to you. The concept can be taken in any direction you like. It provides both a goal and an idea to meeting your customer's concerns. It’s a strategy.

What if those tacos were packed up like a pizza pocket, sealed just along the edges? No mess there. Could work? You tell me, I’d love to hear your mess free taco ideas.

You can see how the concept and idea can start to spur more ideas the further you develop it. Maybe the name simply is Taco Pockets (turns out they exist according to a quick Google search!). Who knows where you go with it.

Approaching your logo design in the same way adds a strategic element to it. If you wanted to create something memorable for Taco Pockets…and you just happened to be Australian, maybe you need a Taco Kangaroo in your logo somewhere. It’s a terrible idea, I know. I can see the guac and salsa and this doesn’t look like a happy roo at all.

But it’s not just about creating something entirely memorable—kudos if you do because that is half the battle. A well rounded concept takes into consideration the entire problem at hand. That includes drawing in your potential customers.

Just like matching your business concept to your customer’s concerns, the concept of the logo needs to address the customer. That may involve addressing the concern at hand or appealing to their better nature or you name it but it needs to be specific to them.

Really, concept development is about problem solving. This is why it is so imperative to know your customer target market intimately. The more information you have the better you can solve their problems and your own in attracting them.

March 9, 2017
Posted on 
Author photo in a circle
Kyle Lincoln

Kyle is a logo crafter, avid reader, and writer. His experience expands across a wide spectrum of clients such as Nandos, Shaw Business, and Destination Canada. Growing up, it didn’t take him long to go from doodles to design. Kyle’s previous work in identities for conferences and events left him longing for something more enduring. He’s got a vested interest in helping businesses thrive and an eye for brand incongruences. In Vancouver he can be found scoping out his client’s location and/or the nearest gelateria and is always up to discuss your project or favourite flavour.

You’ve been working all your life for somebody else. Every job you’ve held has been about growing the success of the owner’s. While being a part of a team and striving to a unified goal is satisfying in the end it isn’t fulfilling. You’re ready to start your own food truck or brick and mortar.

It’s time to build your own castle.

Clearly you have the skills and abilities to do it. It’s been your life for years now and you’re not short on the talent to make it work. You’ve got the ambition and are gung-ho on starting.

But where do you start?

You know your industry and that’s the best place to begin. Unless you have passion in crocheting, I wouldn’t suggest you open up a wash cloth shop on Etsy. If you’ve been a sous chef for the past few years and cooking is in your blood, I think you know what needs to happen.

Deciding to start something is only the first step before many. Let’s say you’ve decided on starting a food truck. Let’s buy a truck, paint it, slap a logo on and get cooking!

Not so fast. You’re in the food business. You know that any successful business needs a concept. It’s no different when we start design on a logo. It’s the advice we give to everyone.

Concepts give us focus and direction. They are the underlying idea that truly drives everything. Without one we will have no idea what we are building.

Take my desk for instance. I needed a place to put my computer and dish of trail mix. Naturally the concept of a desk works perfectly but I could have just as easily put these things on the floor (of course then the dog would eat my blueberries and cashews and I’d be a sad panda).

Both the floor and a desk are concepts but only one best fit my situation. When coming up with your food truck concept, you need to figure out what best works for you and your customers.

Since this is your life now, you may as well start with yourself and figure out what it is you have a passion for. With that half of the equation you can start thinking about how it best suits your potential customers. How can you package products you like creating in a way that your customers like to buy.

Maybe you love making tacos (I certainly love eating tacos). You’re going to have to compete with all of the other taco trucks and shops out there, what makes yours stand out? As a customer, I find tacos can be messy. As a concept, a taco truck that sells mess free tacos might do well.

How those mess free tacos come to be will be up to you. The concept can be taken in any direction you like. It provides both a goal and an idea to meeting your customer's concerns. It’s a strategy.

What if those tacos were packed up like a pizza pocket, sealed just along the edges? No mess there. Could work? You tell me, I’d love to hear your mess free taco ideas.

You can see how the concept and idea can start to spur more ideas the further you develop it. Maybe the name simply is Taco Pockets (turns out they exist according to a quick Google search!). Who knows where you go with it.

Approaching your logo design in the same way adds a strategic element to it. If you wanted to create something memorable for Taco Pockets…and you just happened to be Australian, maybe you need a Taco Kangaroo in your logo somewhere. It’s a terrible idea, I know. I can see the guac and salsa and this doesn’t look like a happy roo at all.

But it’s not just about creating something entirely memorable—kudos if you do because that is half the battle. A well rounded concept takes into consideration the entire problem at hand. That includes drawing in your potential customers.

Just like matching your business concept to your customer’s concerns, the concept of the logo needs to address the customer. That may involve addressing the concern at hand or appealing to their better nature or you name it but it needs to be specific to them.

Really, concept development is about problem solving. This is why it is so imperative to know your customer target market intimately. The more information you have the better you can solve their problems and your own in attracting them.

March 9, 2017
Posted on 
Author photo in a circle
Kyle Lincoln

Kyle is a logo crafter, avid reader, and writer. His experience expands across a wide spectrum of clients such as Nandos, Shaw Business, and Destination Canada. Growing up, it didn’t take him long to go from doodles to design. Kyle’s previous work in identities for conferences and events left him longing for something more enduring. He’s got a vested interest in helping businesses thrive and an eye for brand incongruences. In Vancouver he can be found scoping out his client’s location and/or the nearest gelateria and is always up to discuss your project or favourite flavour.

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