Many people in the advertising, marketing and branding business get tongue-tied when asked to define branding. Or brand for that matter. We come up with short pithy things such as “A brand is a vessel into which we pour meaning.” For years, that was actually one of my favorites. As a consultant with some clients falling into the mid-size business category, I need something more tangible. “Organizing principle” are the two words I use most often now. The extended version is “An organizing principle for product, experience and messaging.” It’s a nice definition – perhaps the best I’ve come across. It defines branding – the verb for used for manage the brand (noun).
But an organizing principle as a descriptor doesn’t really provide pay-off or consummation of the act. It’s just the theory. It is the framework of the organizing principle that makes believers out of brand manager. And the frame work at Whats’s The Idea? is “one claim, three proof planks.” These are the parameters of the organizing principle. The tangible guidance.
Many brand planners love fluidity. They enjoy freedom for their ideas. I enjoy the freedom of a plan, a focus, and a finite value array for doing more business. That’s what an organizing principle does. Peace.