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There are many definitions of brand strategy. Most hard to understand. And for businesses whose sole purpose is clarity of message, you would think brand strategy definitions would be easy.
Here’s mine: “An organizing principle for product, experience and messaging.”
What does an organizing principle look like in words? (Brand strategy is inanimate.) Well, it is a “claim and proof” array. A single claim about brand superiority or value, supported by 3 proof planks. Proof planks are evidence of the claim, grouped into homogenous clusters. One of my favorite brand claims for a small commercial cleaning and maintenance company is “The Navy Seals of Commercial Maintenance.” The proof planks are: “Fast,” “Fastidious” and “Preemptive.” Put these words into a single sentence and you have a clean, articulate brand strategy. You are organized to market. You are organized to productize. You can build your business experience, communications and website.
Okay other businesses out there — care to share your brand strategies in one sentence?
Tags: and organizing principle for product, brand strategy definition, claim and proof, definition of brand strategy, experience and messaging, one claim three proof planks, the navy seals of commercial maintenance, whats the idea, whatstheidea
My brand briefs are filled with heart-warming, heart wrenching twists of a phrase. They are meant to engage the Amygdala. Trust me, they work when it comes to selling brand strategy (one claim, three proof planks.) But unless you are Bob Dylan no consumer is going to remember your poetic brand claim and proof array. They may remember a song from an ad. They may remember a tagline plastered everywhere locked up with your logo. But for lasting impact and indelible brand strategy, choose deeds over words. Deeds and evidence.
The New York Yankees are a premier sports franchise because of their 27 world championships. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is “the best cancer care anywhere” (words) because its physicians have more experience treating cancer (deeds).
When companies bring their brands to me for help positioning, I look for deeds, evidence and proof. That’s the ore that precedes the jewelry.
Tags: amygdala, Bob Dylan, brand, Brand Planning, brand planning tips, Brand Strategy, deeds versus words, Memorial sloan kettering cancer center, ny yankees, one claim three proof planks, whats the idea, whatstheidea
Google is an interested animal. I play it like a violin, but it takes practice. The key to using Google to your advantage lies in selecting and posting phrases. Unique phrases. Ehr-ee-body plays in keywords. Phrases, however, are ownable. To start, find what you feel is a meme-able phrase and post it to your site. Then post it again at a later date. Basically, plant it in web soil.
The longer the phrase the better, but you can accomplish success with even a few words.
Google the phrase one claim three proof planks, it comes up What’s The Idea?. Before the phrase resolved to me. I’d have to put it in quotes: “One claim three proof planks.” Before creating gravitational (Googitational?) pull on the phrase, it was likely highjacked by the term “planking,” the core exercise that was so hot for a while. Today the phrase is mine sans quotes.
The more obscure the phrase, the more likely it will come to you. It can even resolve to you very quickly.
Google Campaigns come and go a powerful brand idea is indelible. See?
Now meme on. Peace.
Tags: brand memes, Brand Strategy, campaigns come and go a powerful brand idea is indelible, googitational, Marketing memes, one claim three proof planks, whats the idea, whatstheidea
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