I read a headline this past weekend “When a food writer can’t taste” which got me thinking about brand strategy and marketing strategy. How does a food writer approach an assignment when s/he can’t actually taste the food? (How did Beethoven compose after losing his hearing?) Had the food writer the ability to taste prior to losing the sense, the experience would be muscle memory-driven. Of course the writer would need to know how the meal was prepared, the ingredients and the amounts. And watched preparation technique. It would also help to watch people eat the food to understand tastes, aromas and textures.
Sadly, a good deal of strategic work in the market today is perfunctory. It lacks the hand and design of someone who has actually tasted the product or product experience. Often there is a reliance on the muscle memory of other assignments. A reliance on demographics — and then the work is driven by nothing more than a media insight.
Just as creatives know when the work is done, so do planners. Planners need enough time to mine insights, experience those insights and learn deeply about their meaning. Put that level of learning into your brand plan and you are, then, ready to start tasting. Peace.