Consumer care-abouts

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In my lifetime and the lifetime of What’s The Idea?, I’ve probably written 50 marketing plans.  Their formats are all pretty much the same: market situation, key issues, objectives, strategies, targets and messages, tactics, budget and timeline.  To the uninitiated who might read one of these plans, once past the up-front market review and obs and strats, the tactics of one plan might look like the others. Interchangeable almost. probably containing ads, PR, direct, web, promotion and social. Simple, undifferentiated line items on an excel chart.

The fact is, it’s the brand strategy that really sets one plan apart from the next. Every dollar spent is guided by a brand claim and three proof planks – or supports.  The tactics aren’t just random copy with fill in the blank marketing claims. Every piece of external and internal communications, meant to position and sell, is scripted. Well not scripted, but guided.

Branding strategy is an organized principle for building brand value and sales, based on consumer care-abouts and brand good-ats.

Brand strategy is the secret sauce to every marketing plan.

Peace.

 

 

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The What’s The Idea? brand strategy framework is simple, 1 claim and 3 proof planks. To get there, the discovery process searches out consumer “care-abouts” and brand “good-ats.”  While exploring these things I’m always looking for positive ways to build strategic values.  For instance, a client launching a healthier-for-you cookie made with all natural ingredients, faced a category perception that products of this nature are often dry with harsh mouth feel. A negative. The brand plan made “moisture” a plank. A positive.

Leveraging negatives is a common marketing practice. But in branding, it’s all about the positives.

On the negative side of the ledger there is actually a continuum.  From most to least strenuous it includes: hatred, anger, annoyance, nuisance, irritation, and dissatisfaction.

When going positive, it’s important to have a sense of where on the continuum consumers lie when evaluating competitor or category negatives. Are dry natural cookies an annoyance or a nuisance? Then when promoting the moist nature of your cookie, you mete your response proportionately.

Today’s newspaper says the negative ads against Donald Trump are in record breaking territory, with $70M spent by fellow republicans alone. I wonder if they are using the negative continuum?

Peace?

 

 

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