brand strategy claim

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I’ve been thinking about two brand strategies lately. One for the Madison Square Garden the other for James Brown. Madison Square Garden’s is “The World’s Most Famous Arena.” James Brown was “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business.”  These two sentences are brand claims.

A claim is only good when it’s believable. If you’ve ever seen James Brown, you know his claim to be true. As for MSG, the same, but you may have to take their word for it to a degree.  There have been 4 Madison Square Garden’s and none in Madison Square since 1925. There have, indeed, been some amazing events in the 4 gardens, but it’s no Roman Coliseum. What The Garden is is a well-tended brand. At every major sports event the announcer welcomes one and all with “Welcome to Madison Square Garden, the world’s most famous arena.” The halls are bedazzled with black and whites of Ali-Frazier, George Harrison, and Mark Messier.   Hanging from the rafters are aging championship banners from the NY Rangers.

MSG works hard to prove its claim. James Brown used to sweat his claim.

Claims are the basis of brand strategy. With claim in hand, all that is left are the deeds and the proof. Peace.

 

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One of the foibles common in advertising is lack of adherence to brand strategy; more specifically to brand strategy claim.  A claim is only as good as its proof — and ads today are often bereft of proof. Here’s an example torn from the pages of The New York Times.  It has been a while since I priced a page in The Times but it wouldn’t be misleading to say the ad cost north of $75.

New York Presbyterian’s claim is “Amazing Things Are Happening Here.” It’s a wonderful and powerful brand idea developed by Munn Rabot. (They no longer do NYP’s ads.)  In an ad celebrating National Doctors Day the headline is the above stated claim.  Here is the copy. (See if you can find any proof.)

Every day, our doctors combine knowledge, curiosity, intuition and compassion in amazing ways.

They change patients’ lives. They advance the frontiers of medicine. And they ready the next generation of physicians to do the same.

On behalf of our patients, families, and everyone else whose lives you touch, thank you.

Advertising has two jobs. Accomplish the tactical objective which in this case is thank the docs. And second, advance the brand strategy “amazing things.”  This is another example of all claim, no proof.

Poor ad craft. Poorer brand craft. Peace.

 

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