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The short answer is about 45 minutes. The long answer is maybe 100 hours. Someone once asked Picasso how could he charge tens of thousands of dollars for a sketch that took him only 10 minutes to draw. His response was “That sketch took me a lifetime to draw.” I paraphrase.
I’m no Picasso. Plus any cache in the brain, save some technique and linguistic phrasing, stays in the brain. Every brand brief is a like snow flake. Each brand brief is built from scratch; leaning heavily on customer care-abouts and brand good-ats. All that information takes time to amass. I’ve taken months to write a brand brief. I’ve taken weeks.
In some cases multivariate statistical analyses were used. And slopes were plotted. Findings clustered. Interviews by the hundreds. Others have been developed on a shoe-string.
On most proposals I say it takes a month to write a brand strategy brief.
Now, to the next question: How long is a piece of string?
Tags: brand good-ats, Brand Strategy, brand strategy technique, Customer care-abouts, how long does it take to write a brand brief, how long is a piece of string, peace, Picasso, whats the idea, whatstheidea
Small companies are the least likely to talk about brand strategy. That’s because, for the most part, they don’t have people “dedicated” to marketing. They can’t afford them. So marketing falls to the founders and owners. In such cases, marketing becomes tactical: Make the phone ring. Get leads. Generate floor traffic. Build a website so Google can find us.
In each of these scenarios, small companies often turn to outside content creators. Designers. Coders. Writers. Media companies. But what do they tell these outside agents? They certainly don’t provide them with brand strategy — a boil down of customer care-abouts and brand good-ats. A brand strategy boil down is a specialized piece of work; work smaller companies would be smart to invest in. When tactical work is given to outside content creators, it has the benefit of governance and focus.
Small companies can save thousands of dollars and scores of hours with a simple investment in brand strategy.
Tags: brand good-ats, brand strategy for small companies, Customer care-abouts, peace, small business marketing, small business marketing challenges, whats the idea, whatstheidea
I was driving earlier this week and noticed a couple of Yuengling billboard ads. Billboards are hard to do as the good ones contain 7 words or less. It seems the Yuengling tagline is “spread your wings,” which until further notice with be their brand strategy claim. (A brand strategy is one claim, three proof planks.) Yuengling is America’s oldest brewery, but that proof shouldn’t get in the way of a fallow claim like spread your wings. Everyone wants to spread their wings, no?
The “wings” are derived from the eagle on the label — not to be confused with the Anheuser Busch eagle logo. The rational-emotional claim for the beer, has nothing to do with the beer. Just the purchaser. It’s the same claim used by brands in nearly every category from mobile phones to cars to airlines. (At least airlines have wings.)
Basically, Yuengling has no brand strategy…they have a logo. That’s how you get headlines line “go big or go bigger.” This is lazy and poor brand craft.
Brand strategy is the thoughtful result of consumer care-abouts and brand good-ats. Where ever the twain shall not meet, we get wings.
Tags: brand good-ats, Brand Strategy, Consumer care-abouts, once claim and three proof planks, whats the idea, whatstheidea, Yuengling, Yuengling brand strategy, Yuengling has not brand strategy
I’m not much of a cook but I’m certainly a student. What’s The Idea? uses a number of cooking metaphors in its daily operation. Many of the tenets of good cooking are also valuable in brand strategy. One such tenet is “Don’t use too many ingredients.” The more ingredients used, the more likely the main component of the dish becomes obscured.
My uncle Carl taught me the best baked clams are the ones with the least amount of flavor enhancers. See the clam. The same for chicken parmesan. No sauce, just a brilliant tomato slice or two atop the golden brown cutlet.
Brand strategy development is about evaluating customer care-abouts and brand good-ats and selecting only the top three — the three with the most flavor (or most complementary flavors). Most importantly, these three brand planks must support the brand claim, or, following the metaphor, the main protein.
Brand strategy is best served with one claim and three proof planks. It’s not over-complicated. It’s easy on the senses. And the consumer palate is very understanding.
Leave Michelin stars for the true chefs. Complexity in brand strategy rarely works.
Tags: brand good-ats, Brand Strategy, brand strategy ingredients, brand strategy sans serif, claim and proof, claim and proof in brand strategy, complexity in brand strategy doesn’t work, Customer care-abouts, uncle carl, whats the idea, whatstheidea
Here’s an exercise for brand planners.
I read this morning that when president Richard Nixon prepared for a summit in China to meet Mao Zedong, he created a checklist. What do we want? What does China want? And what do we both want? Each question had three answers.
Brand planners should ask themselves the same questions only with a slight modification at the end. What does the company want? What do the consumers want? And what does the brand want? The brand’s desires may not align with that of the company and could be a healthy source of exploratory tension.
The What’s The Idea? the brand strategy process plumbs consumer “care-abouts” and brand “good-ats.” The nexus of these qualities decides the brand claim and proof planks. But with the tripartite “What want?” approach, it may make the planner look at a new dimension. May.
Might be worth a try.
Tags: Brand claim and proof planks, brand good-ats, Brand Strategy, brand strategy rigor, care-abouts, care-abouts and good-ats, claim and proof, Consumer care-abouts, exercise for brand planners, good ats, good-ats and care-abouts, mao zedong, richard nixon, whats the idea, whatstheidea
The problem with most brands is that they are skin deep. Products and services with derma measured only in millimeters. No depth. No real rational and emotional meaning. Why is that? Because brand building today is too randomized. No real brand plan. No organizing principle driving long term, meaningful KPIs.
Sales and revenue are all that matters. Sales teams are motivated by commissions. Retail buyers are motivated by bonuses. Ad agents make money off of fee hours and volume. And media is paid by the media transaction, not the result.
It makes me think of healthcare – where docs and hospitals are compensated for helping the sick, not preserving the healthy.
Brand planners dig beneath the skin. We get down to the organs. When we organize the selling principles, it’s not a Colorforms project, based on cut-and-paste tactics and theatrics. It’s a plan to build value leveraging what a brand is good-at and what consumers care-about. A plan driven by a deeply seeded claim, one that warms the hearts of brand employees and customers.
Salespeople can “sell anything,” they will tell you. Brand planners only want to sell one thing. Tink about it, as my Norwegian Aunt would say.
Tags: brand good-ats, brand plan, Brand Planning, colorforms, Consumer care-abouts, Customer care-abouts, KPIs in branding, Tink about it as my norwegian aunt would say, whats the idea, whatstheidea
I read something smart in an account planners group on Facebook yesterday about targeting. It suggested you have to refine the brand target so as to make a more compelling message. When creating your brand claim, you don’t want to address the entire consuming pop. Not everyone will like you. You have to find the largest grouping of people who share a proclivity for your product, service and brand claim — and focus the strategy on them.
It’s so smart. I had the same targeting discussion with a client yesterday.
When you do enough research on brand good-ats and consumer care-abouts, you’ll find that you can’t please everybody. It is at this point that the rubber meets the road. Do we change who we are? Do we try to change the attitudes and beliefs of what consumers think and know? Or do we simply speak to the low and “reach for” fruit that will most likely be motivated to buy our product?
This is how we do-oo it! Peace.
Tags: brand good-ats, Brand Strategy, brand target, brand targeting, Consumer care-abouts, good-ats and care-abouts, whats the idea, whatstheidea
I was reading a recipe this weekend for chick pea chili (don’t judge) and decided right off the bat I’d never make it. Not for the chick peas, not for the drive to the grocery store(s), but for the over complication of ingredients. I favor minimalism in my cooking. It’s easier to taste a few ingredients. (Google “Fruit Cocktail Effect.”)
My framework for brand strategy reflects this sensibility: One claim, three proof planks. That’s how you build a brand. One and three.
Getting to one and three isn’t easy though. Trust me. You have to go through hundreds of ingredients to get to the one claim and three planks. When looking for brand good-ats and customer care-abouts, you’ll find many. But when forming brand strategy, don’t just look at the most common ingredients or the most abundant; this job is all about finesse.
For you tyro brand planners out there, use your palette when considering all the ingredients, but use your heart and brain when selecting the true flavors.
Tags: brand good-ats, Brand Planning, brand planning tips, Brand Strategy, Consumer care-abouts, Fruit cocktail effect, good-ats and care-abouts, one claim three proof planks, whats the idea, whatstheidea