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The U+ approach to concept creation for new businesses

Using the U+ method, we provide a detailed guide for developing ideas into lucrative new products, services, and business models.

The U+ approach to concept creation for new businesses

Many companies, whether they are just starting out or already well-established, face difficulties in finding the right ideas and concepts that will lead to success. It's a challenge to figure out which ideas are worth pursuing and have the potential to gain real traction. This struggle arises because the business world is inherently unpredictable, and there are many factors that can impact the outcome of a venture. To overcome this challenge, companies need to analyze the market, conduct research, keep an eye on trends, and understand what customers want, among many other activities.

In this article, we will delve into the U+ concept creation process, providing a detailed breakdown of each step involved. This well-defined process typically lasts three months, encompassing three distinct phases: problem space exploration, opportunity list creation, and the concept creation stage itself. Let’s explore each of them.

Problem space exploration

In brief, a “problem space” represents the arena where innovators investigate their customers’ unmet needs in search of promising opportunities for new businesses. Disney’s short-lived foray into the metaverse is a revealing example of why problem space exploration matters so much. Though its former CEO Bob Chapek referred to the metaverse as “the next great storytelling frontier”, the entertainment giant began with a solution first without adequately addressing the actual problems this new venture might solve. As a result, the initiative failed to tempt new users and Disney axed its metaverse division after just one year.

To help our clients navigate problem space and uncover new innovation concepts, the U+ team follows a structured approach that includes the following activities:

  • Extensive online research: We conduct thorough online research to understand industry shifts and analyze customer needs, desires, and pain points.

  • Desktop research: By leveraging our expertise and employing desktop research, we identify market problems and spaces with high growth potential.

  • Collaborative communication: We ensure seamless onboarding and continuous interaction by utilizing joint communication platforms such as our company Slack account.

  • Existing research review: We review existing research to build upon previous knowledge and identify gaps that need to be addressed.

  • Market shift identification: We stay updated on current and predicted market shifts, enabling us to adapt and respond in a nimble fashion.

  • Mapping existing solutions: We analyze high-level solutions in the market to gain insights into how others have successfully approached the problem.

  • State of the market research: We conduct comprehensive desktop research to understand the current state of the marketplace, identifying potential user activities and desired outcomes.

  • Clear definition of customer desires and needs: Our research and analysis provide a clear understanding of your customers' desires, needs, and aspirations.

  • Well-defined market space: Through our exploration, we define the market space, identifying the boundaries and potential opportunities for concept development.

Opportunity list creation

Armed with a deep understanding of the client’s target market needs, we move on to the second phase of our Concept Creation Sprint – opportunity list creation.

Here, we take the industry shifts, customer needs, and market spaces identified in the previous stage and transform them into a concrete list of ideas based on thorough research. To accomplish this, we conduct design thinking workshops, ensuring all stakeholders operate in an environment of creative exploration and collaboration.

During this phase, we follow a clear process to identify the most promising ideas. Here's how we do it:

  • Prioritization of larger idea spaces: We carefully select 3-5 larger idea spaces that warrant exploration based on their potential impact and alignment with your strategic goals.

  • Establishing prioritization criteria: We establish specific criteria for prioritization, including Total Addressable Market (TAM), Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR), market maturity, and potential. This ensures that the ideas generated align with your business objectives.

  • Internal interviews and thinking sessions: We conduct interviews and collaborative thinking sessions within your organization to gather valuable insights. This allows us to refine and iterate the ideas, ensuring they are well-informed and aligned with your unique context.

  • Idea presentation workshops: We organize regular workshops where we present the generated concepts. These sessions provide an opportunity to collect feedback and input from key stakeholders, allowing us to fine-tune the ideas further.

  • Ranking based on market potential: Using a comprehensive evaluation process, we rank the concepts based on their market potential. This assessment takes into account factors such as market size, growth prospects, competitive landscape, and customer demand.

The outcome of this phase is a list of ideas and opportunities that are ranked based on potential.

Concept creation

In the final part of our sprint, we continue to develop the ideas with the highest-ranked potential through customer interviews and additional research until they are ripe for validation. Activities at this stage include:

  • Mapping out high-level customer journeys and personas: We create comprehensive customer journeys and personas, gaining a deep understanding of your target audience.

  • Prototypes and interviews: We develop prototypes and conduct interviews to gather valuable feedback from your customers, ensuring that the concepts resonate with them.

  • Ranking and refinement: We rank the concept versions based on desktop research, user interviews, and our experience. This process allows us to refine and optimize the concepts for success.

  • Clear value propositions: We craft clear value propositions that highlight the unique benefits of your concepts, ensuring they are aligned with overall brand positioning and messaging strategy

  • High-level positioning and differentiation: We develop strategies for positioning your concepts in the market and differentiating them from competitors.

  • Suggestions for further validation and market testing: We provide actionable suggestions on how to proceed with additional validation and market testing, setting the stage for successful implementation.

The output of the Concept Creation phase is a refined set of concepts ready to undergo market validation and testing. For more information on how U+ tackles the testing phase, read this exclusive insight.


Taking a structured and systematic approach to concept creation sets innovators up for success all through the business development lifecycle. By incorporating focused research, strategic prioritization, and the principles of product-market fit, organizations can maximize available opportunities, learn quickly and cheaply, and ultimately deliver new products, services, and business models the market really wants.

The U+ Method can efficiently and effectively lead the development, implementation, and improvement of innovations in any sector. To date, we have used this method to bring 100+ products to market, creating over $2 billion in value for Fortune 1000 companies. Check out U+ success stories here.

Don't miss the opportunity to boost your innovation strategy 100x and unlock the full potential of your next venture. Learn more about this game-changing platform, and book a demo here.