brand planning tips and tricks

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Every once in a while I am asked to work on a tough piece of business. Cracking a tough piece of brand strategy code.  Businesses with complicated targeting, multiple value propositions, never-been-done-before product or service make ups.  This is my sweet spot.

The toughest part of brand strategy is what I call the Boil Down. Taking all that is discovered (the care-abouts and good ats) and reducing it to a more manageable level. Sometimes, before I can do that I just need to go back at my client stakeholders. One tool I developed as a waypoint in the process is The 7 Conundrums.  

Before I’m comfortable writing the brand brief I create a presentation identifying behavioral or product observations that seem contradictory. Conundrums are tension points that when discussed with stakeholders and subject matter experts can reveal important insights. And/or also may move stakeholders closer to accepting possible brand strategies.

For an online art gallery marketplace client, here was a conundrum:    

Walking into an art gallery can be intimidating but also freeing.  

I’ve always found that fertile discussions about marketing and branding tension points get me closer to cracking the toughest nuts.

Peace.

 

 

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geotech

Mining is actually a good brand planning analogy. During the planning process where one combs research and interviews stakeholders and consumers planners are searching for nuggets of ore. Ore that might direct one to a vein or the mother lode. In my planning rigor, my ore is proof. Examples of acts. Facts. Actions. It’s ironic that while searching for proof, I don’t know yet know the claim. In my consultancy a brand strategy consists of 1 claim and 3 proof planks. At this stage, I’m nugget hunting.

(Just to level set, here are examples of things that are not proof: exception care, innovative design, tailored-to-meet-your-needs. These fall into the area of claim; and as claims they are a little wan. A little over used.)

Discovery in brand planning is listening, watching, paying attention to detail – almost being a human Galvinic Skin Response test – then categorizing the proof into clusters. It may sounds a little backwards, hunting for proof before identifying the claim, but it’s not. People can tell stories about proof. People light up citing proof. People are reticent, however, when it comes to claim. Reticent because it sounds like bragging. Because it is not always true.

Mine for proof first and your plan will have a stable foundation. Peace. 

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