As a philosopher, I`ve observed that one of the most difficult skills a
human being undertakes to develop is "conceptualization." One reason
it`s so difficult is that very few people have any sort of defined
explanation of what is a concept in the first place. Ayn Rand has a whole book on the process
, but not many people have read a copy.
A concept is like the top of a pyramid. Depending on how many pieces go
into that concept, the pyramid can be very tall, or quite low to the
ground. A pyramid can also have a very wide base, or just a few inches
at the bottom. So too, a concept can be wide and all-encompassing, or
it can be narrow and constrained.
We "build" a concept out of our observations, experiences, and the
conclusions we draw from those experiences. When we have too many
similar experiences to hold in our head, we "subsume" them---gather
them together into a box---under a new word. That new word represents a
One exercise you might try is to sit down and list every possible thing
you can think of that relates to your business. If you know Excel, list
each thing, no matter how odd, in a column, each in its own cell.
Then go through the list and see if you can find "index" words, to put
into the next column over. An index word would be 1 word you would use
if you were trying to find that thought---that line.
Then sort the two columns. See if you can find some patterns.
For example, you have: new, house, home (they`re different), health,
money, room, power, excercise, machines, recreation, construction,
wood, beams, 2x4s, concrete, lights, and the list goes on and on and on.
But your patterns begin to narrow: Cost, room, bulk, health, efficiency, and so on.
Having a concept is directly related to developing your Unique Selling
Proposition (USP). That helps with branding, logo, marketing, and
customer perception. It also will help you to decide if you need
multiple Web sites, or perhaps a "door" for Customers, and Real Estate
Developers. Or, for Retail vs. Wholesale.
It`s not at all an easy thing to do, particularly when your business overlaps between a service and a product line.