Introduction to Concept Planning 

Photo: Outi Kähkönen


Do you recognize the terms “product development” and “service design”? Here we mainly use the term “concept planning”, but their aim is the same: offering customers what they want and value.

Concept planning is not about planning individual products only; it is comprehensive and systematic business development.  

It is always based on the company’s goals, values and identity, and so each concept is unique.  

Concept planning can be conducted at different levels from strategic management to one single individual product, service or situation.  

Building a concept is a process. It is continuous and transparent service development, evaluation and communication. 

For example, the Service Design method and tools can be used in creating concepts for tourism. Cocreation brings together all stakeholders, from the company staff to customers and locals, in creating the concepts. 

The Prezi presentation below introduces the different aspects of concept planning. Click the arrows to view the presentation.

Task 1: Think of an existing nature-based tourism product/service that you have used. Mention at least one point from all the different aspects presented.

Task 2.

Watch the first two videos above on concept planning.
Can you now add some more points to the previous task?

The article below gives an overview of concept planning principles that will be further discussed in these course materials.

Sources and further reading:  

Angeria, M., Hangas, K., Hirvaskari, M. & Kähkönen, O. 2020. Introduction to Concept Planning. Unpublished PAN project report.

EUROPARC Consulting GmbH 2012. Practical, profitable, protected. A Starter Guide to Developing Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas.

Kähkönen, O. & Angeria, M. 2022. Introduction to Concept Planning. In M. Angeria, M. Hirvaskari & O. Kähkönen (Eds) Phenomena of Arctic Nature. Principles and Practices of Nature-based Tourism, 53-57.

Sammallahti, T. 2009. Konseptisuunnittelun supersankari. Helsinki: Books on Demand. (Book on concept planning, in Finnish only) 

Stickdorn, M. 2012. Service Design and Tourism.  

Example of a concept: Wild Camp Finland. Koillismaan kesämatkailun kasvuohjelma  (pdf, in Finnish only)