I’m not much of a cook but I’m certainly a student. What’s The Idea? uses a number of cooking metaphors in its daily operation. Many of the tenets of good cooking are also valuable in brand strategy. One such tenet is “Don’t use too many ingredients.” The more ingredients used, the more likely the main component of the dish becomes obscured.
My uncle Carl taught me the best baked clams are the ones with the least amount of flavor enhancers. See the clam. The same for chicken parmesan. No sauce, just a brilliant tomato slice or two atop the golden brown cutlet.
Brand strategy development is about evaluating customer care-abouts and brand good-ats and selecting only the top three — the three with the most flavor (or most complementary flavors). Most importantly, these three brand planks must support the brand claim, or, following the metaphor, the main protein.
Brand strategy is best served with one claim and three proof planks. It’s not over-complicated. It’s easy on the senses. And the consumer palate is very understanding.
Leave Michelin stars for the true chefs. Complexity in brand strategy rarely works.