Inside every huge piece of stone is a beautiful sculpture. Or not. Upon every blueprint is an architect’s rendering of an amazing building. Or not. On every canvas… okay, you get the idea.
It’s the same way with brand planning. Any knucklehead with a pencil or keyboard can ask executives, customers and thought-leaders questions. Anyone can fill up a OneNote document (cool Microsoft product) with lots of words, links, quotes and data. But what makes a great brand plan is what is left at the end. And how it is organized and integrated. And what can be acted upon for the good of the brand.
I call this process the boil down. I like to cook and the metaphor about making a rich sauce through the reduction process works for me. No matter what you name your process, when going from the massive (discovery) to the reduced and pungent, it is the final product that makes the successful brand planner. Branding is an organizing principle. Most CEOs, CFOs and CMOs know what makes a brand tick; they just can’t always decipher or decode the promise. Not in words consumers can hold dear. Or that employees can understand and live by. But when a brand planner presents the boil down to C-level execs and sees that sparkle in their eyes — the sculpture is done. And properly conveyed and packaged a brand plan can work for consumers and employees. This isn’t like approving an ad campaign, this is business strategy… in poetry. Peace