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Brand planning is not just about words on a paper. Colors on a palette. Planks and buckets and values. Or even taglines…and I’m a big fan of taglines. (If you’re spending marketing dollars which don’t prove your tagline, you’re “off piste,” as I like to meme.)
Brand strategy is integral to marketing. As such, all brand planners are marketers. As marketers we need to be look beyond the dashboard. Look at what’s next. The earth is not flat.
My night job is to wake up with new product ideas. Ideas that deliver on the brand strategy (one claim, three proof planks). If in consumables, I’m dreaming about making packaging more planet friendly. I was watching a YouTube video yesterday about shampoo bars that sell sans plastic bottle and cap. Come se Genius??
The growth of innovation labs, incubators and new product teams is a big thing today. In my humble if jaded opinion, no one is better able to crack an innovation opportunity than a brand planner – the person responsible for the care and feeding of the brand claim.
Tags: 1 claim 3 proof planks, beyond the dashboard, beyond the marketing dashboard, brand claim, brand memes, claim and proof, off piste marketing, off-piste, off-piste branding, one claim three proof planks, shampoo bars, whats the idea, whatstheidea, youtube"
In a story from The New York Times this morning about the toll the chaotic Trump administration is having on senior staff, the reporter wrote “With an erratic boss and little in the way of a coherent legislative agenda, they are consumed by infighting, fears of their legal exposure and an ambient sense that the White House is spinning out of control.”
People, president and politics aside, let’s look at the central theme of the quote. No coherent legislative agenda. Good governments require coherence in their agendas. So do brands. When a brand has a coherent agenda, marketing and business become easier. Chaos in not an organizing principle. Brands without coherence are brands without growing customer bases. (Imagine if the product was inconsistent. Imagine if the logo changed monthly. Imagine if retail was spotty. Incoherence.)
No matter the company or category, articulating a brand strategy (one claim, three brand planks) is critical to coherence. Now, back to your regularly scheduled news program.
Tags: Brand Strategy, coherence in branding, fears of their legal exposure and an ambient sense that the White House is spinning out of control, one claim three brand planks, one claim three proof planks, the nrew York times, they are consumed by infighting, whats the idea, whatstheidea, With an erratic boss and little in the way of a coherent legislative agenda
I was reading a recipe this weekend for chick pea chili (don’t judge) and decided right off the bat I’d never make it. Not for the chick peas, not for the drive to the grocery store(s), but for the over complication of ingredients. I favor minimalism in my cooking. It’s easier to taste a few ingredients. (Google “Fruit Cocktail Effect.”)
My framework for brand strategy reflects this sensibility: One claim, three proof planks. That’s how you build a brand. One and three.
Getting to one and three isn’t easy though. Trust me. You have to go through hundreds of ingredients to get to the one claim and three planks. When looking for brand good-ats and customer care-abouts, you’ll find many. But when forming brand strategy, don’t just look at the most common ingredients or the most abundant; this job is all about finesse.
For you tyro brand planners out there, use your palette when considering all the ingredients, but use your heart and brain when selecting the true flavors.
Tags: brand good-ats, Brand Planning, brand planning tips, Brand Strategy, Consumer care-abouts, Fruit cocktail effect, good-ats and care-abouts, one claim three proof planks, whats the idea, whatstheidea
Brand planners at agencies have two jobs. One job is to assist with new business strategy where they mine insights that make it easier for consumers to like, want and buy a brand. The other type of brand planner runs day-to-day tactical business. These are the day-planners.
Once the master strategy is in place, it is the day-planners job to facilitate creation of marketing stuff. Day-planners crunch data, write briefs and ultimately foster the creative work that carries the revenue metrics. The day planner’s first job should be to support the master brand strategy. They are, however, often more beholden to the tactical or slave strategy (than the master).
What’s The Idea?, focuses mostly on the master brand strategies. The master strategy is born of an array of proofs. Some might call them truths. I think proof is more accurate. If you make a singular brand claim, what proof have you to make consumers believe it? In master strategy planning, when enough proofs are identified during discovery they begin to take shape. That shape reverse engineers a claim. That’s master brand strategy (one claim, three proof planks).
With the claim and proof array intact day-planners are looking creating “new proof” or repackaged old proofs to spark the creative work. Both types of planning jobs are important. But without a good master the slave strategy will have no legs.
Tags: brand day-planner, brand strategy day-planner, day-planner, Master slave brand strategy, one claim three proof planks, two types of brand planner, whats the idea, whatstheidea
I was reading about the NY Public Library yesterday and its Beaux Arts design, which led me to look up Beaux Arts (pronounced Boh-Zahr) in Wikipedia. Love Wikipedia. The Parisian Beaux Arts school was big in the late 1800s lasting until the first quarter of the 1900s in the U.S. As architecture goes this stuff blows away today’s glass and steel. As I read I wondered why the word is so often used in brand strategy.
Brand Architecture, me thinks, borrows too much from its building architecture paternity. In building architectural classifications are a somewhat open set of guidelines and schemes and materials. In brand planner, practitioners also have guidelines and tools. Many individualized.
I work in master brand planning, the one that drives subsequent briefs and tactics so I like to stay away from this interpretive guideline thing. I like to be extremely explicit. Brand Strategy in my practice is one claim, three proof planks. The marketing and comms are either on claim or they are not. It support a proof planks or it does not. Brand strategy is either open or closed. No room for interpretation. No schools. No architecture within which to operate. Is and 0s. On or off.
This marketing environment is not limited. It does not lack for creativity. All buildings do not look the same. They are just built to last. Flourishes yes. Ephemera no.
Tags: 1 claim 3 proof planks, Brand architecture, brand architecture defined, brand strategy trumps brand architecture, ny public library, one claim three proof planks, whats the idea, whatstheidea
I am loath to admit it, but What’s The Idea? is a small batch brand strategy consultancy. The market has been conditioned to think a large corporate brand strategy has to cost $100,000; add another $150k for naming and logo design. Most of my clients don’t have that kind of money. My clients tend to be small and mid-size or start-ups.
My framework for brand strategy – one claim, three proof planks – is tight and enduring. But for some larger businesses, helmed by multivariate MBAs, it may seem overly simplistic. And inexpensive. Simplicity is its beauty, frankly.
In small batches, with only 40 or 80 hours invested in research and planning, the process has to be relatively simple. The information gathering metaphor I use is the stock pot. My cognitive approach, the “boil down.” When you work in small batches, you self-limit your ingredients. You know what not to heap into the pot.
I’ve done small batch brand strategy for crazy-complicated business lines. A global top 5 consulting company with a health and security practice and a preeminent hacker group who helps the government keep us safe. Small batches both.
Try the small batch approach. As Ben Benson used to say, you are going to like it.
Tags: Ben Benson, one claim 3 proof planks, one claim three proof planks, small batch brand planning, Small batch brand strategy, What does a Brand strategy cost, whats the idea, whatstheidea
If asked to provide one word that defines my business practice – one word that drives my philosophy of brand planning it would have to be “proof.”
Proof is the most tangible of marketing words. And the most tangible building block in brand strategy.
Proof trumps subjective opinion. It overrides marketing insouciance. It answers that age-old creative brief question “What is the reason to believe?”. Teach a man to prove and you build a brand for a lifetime. In brand strategy, of course, you need to organize your proof; into no more than three proof planks. Random proof becomes a grade school science fair.
The best framework for brand strategy is one claim and three proof planks. Get the claim right then make the proof fit like a glove.
Here’s an exercise: Spend time studying your marketing materials. See if you can discern the proof from the blather. From the self-interest babble. Underline or highlight the proof. See what you’ve got. Does it focus you?
Tags: 1 claim 3 proof planks, 1 claim and 3 proof planks, claim and proof, one claim and three proof planks, one claim three proof planks, proof in brand planning, proof in brand strategy, teach a man to prove, whats the idea, whatstheidea