a powerful brand strategy is indelible

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Following is a mission statement from food start-up Smart Mills.

“We exist to positively impact the way food is made, enriching lives and bodies through delicious, convenient foods made from clean nutritious ingredients.” 

Mission statements often contain multiple commas and conjunctions; they tend to cast a wide net. As mission statements go, this one is actually modest. It doesn’t try to do too, too much.

Here is a brand strategy claim developed for a cookie start-up:

“Craft cookies, au naturel.”

Almost everything said about Smart Mills could be said about the cookie start-up, but with way fewer words. A powerful brand strategy is indelible. Why is that? Because it’s focused. It is not six things or four things.  It’s one big idea. An idea that is a customer care-about and a brand good-at. A brand strategy is comprised of one claim and three proof planks.

The human memory can remember one big idea. And it will believe that idea if proven in an efficient, impactful fashion. So by all means marketers write your mission statements. But when it comes time to selling, blow them up and create the most important selling tool you have at your disposal. A brand strategy.

Peace.

 

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I was talking to a colleague last week, a newly minted consultant, who asked my opinion on licensing brand strategy.  I suggested once a brand strategy is sold, it makes sense to put an annual license fee on the strategy, for as long as the company uses it. A nominal amount. Rather than simply sending an invoice each year, the fee should come with value. And that value is an open-ended offer to the client to share work with me for validation – so they know it’s on strategy. The fee would also cover an annual refresher or training course on the brand strategy – one which new employees or agencies should attend.

One of my biggest regrets with What’s The Idea? is that I often finish a brand strategy then sail into the sunset; leaving the brand and marketing managers to deal with compliance. At mid-size, small and start-up companies marketing directors typically don’t have these skills.

My friends at Brandtuitive are good at this. They make sure training is part of their engagement. The notion of making a company pay a recurring annual fee for training and compliance, albeit a small one, makes lots of sense. But is has to be more about compliance than a license of the idea. (And remember “Campaigns come and go, a powerful brand strategy is indelible.”)

Thought?

 

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