Concept Planning

What is “Concept“? 

Easy way to understand Concept is to think about 5W1H. (When, Who, Where, Why, What, and How) 


What are some of the characteristics of the car?

Who is going to be the user of the car?

When will the car be used?

Where will the car be used?

Why is the user going to buy this car?

How will the car be used?

Moreover, a “Concept” is the process of phrasing the car that you are developing by its characteristics and direction by accommodating the 5W1H listed above. 

An example of a “Concept” is:

“A car that can be enjoyed by a man in the 60’s who can spend a night in the car during road trips with his wife and pet.”

Another word that is often used is “Styling Concept.”

In CDA, we define “Styling Concept” as something directly related to “Shape”, “Appearance,” or “Characteristic,” which embodies the “Concept” in a short phrase.

For example, a “Styling Concept” can be some phrases like:

“A Solid Car,” “Dynamic & Solid,” “Muscular” or “Massive.” 


1. Start by Thinking About the Characteristic of the Car

“USP” is a word that has been getting considerable attention lately.

“USP” is an abbreviation for “Unique Selling Proposition” and points out “what the sales point of the car is,” moreover, points out the personality and characteristics of the car.

In this method, you think about the personality and the character of the car first, which is very important, then set the target users who fit under the characteristics of the car.

Process of the “USP” Concept Building Method

First, try to write down as many happy events, interesting things that happened in your life or something interesting that you have noticed in your life. When writing down the events, make sure you think of WHY these events made you feel happy or interested.

Secondly, extract all the events and matters that you feel that you can input in your concept, and think about how you can implement this into a real car. These extracted ideas become the personality and characteristic of the car. At this point, if there is a car that already exists that can substitute your concept, dispose the idea and think of a new concept.

Lastly, set the target users as people who fit your characteristics.


2.Setting the Target User

When determining concepts that attract or convince other people, one useful approach is to identify “who the target user is (customer).”

We have summarized some of the elements you have to take consideration in below.

Please be aware of the following when you set the target user:

Having a Specific Image of the Target

<Example >

Age, gender, family structure, residence, occupation, working hours, income level, hobby, current transportation method, fashion, favorite brands/fashions, magazines those they read, value, decision making points when buying cars, and/or situations when/where they use cars. 

Focus on the ‘Benefit of Target Users,’ then Transmit that into Concept. 

Lets express what kind of benefits the car’s character and personality can provide the target user. The below chart is a summary of David Aaker’s “Beyond Functional Benefit.” David Aaker is a famous American Organizational Theorist and Marketing Scholar, who established various Brand Image Strategies.

See more details in the link below.


Just give you some examples of three Benefits.

1. Functional Benefits are benefits that are expressed numerically. Some examples of this are vehicle maximum speed, size, passenger capacity, or storage space/room, and price.

2. Emotional Benefit is the positive emotion that the driver feels by having the car. For example, the safeness feeling that the thick doors and massive appearance of a Hummer provides to the driver is an emotional benefit.

3. Self-Expressive Benefits are something like when a driver drives an Electric Vehicle and makes the driver feel like that they are making a dedication for Clean Environment.


When you plan concept, try to include something other than functional benefits. Functional Benefit can be copied or developed by others more easily. Functional Benefit alone does not impress buyers/users.

Two other benefits, Emotional Benefit and Self Expressional Benefit will trigger users to decide Purchase.

Think like why customer wants this car other than functional benefit (size, performance).

You are required to identify at least one (Either Emotional Benefits, or Self-Expressive Benefits)


If you consider the all three of the above Benefits, it will become easier to imagine the need of the targeting clients and reflect them on Concept. The concept that came out of this process will be easier to be accepted, more convincing.

When building a concept, aside from the ‘identifying the target’, there are other ways of to build concepts: A method to assume a situation where/how a car is used, or social conditions, or try to solve dissatisfaction and so on.