Stephen king

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In 1974 JWT London’s Stephen King wrote a Planning Guide. Thanks to Julian Cole of Bee Bee Do (BBDO) for sharing it today. The JPEG below summarizes nicely how a brand works, based upon Mr. King’s constellation of “appeals.”

This is a smart boil-down of what a brand is, why it works, and what it needs to do to connect with consumers.

I’m a simple man. One of the reason for my success in brand planning is my simpler view of branding. It is easier to articulate than that of many others. Verbose planners get you nodding. Then nodding. And more nodding until you can’t actually play back what they said. My meme-able word bites on branding stick.

In Mr. King’s case, I take into consideration all of his brand appeals but boil them down further. Into two variables in fact. I call it the Is-Does. What brand IS and what a brand DOES. The Does prioritizes the appeals and picks one. Ish. But don’t underestimate the Is.  The iPhone, for instance, was introduced as a phone, not a hybrid device. Smart.

Selling with simple language works. Consumers respond well. Even when those consumers are marketers.



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Under the Dome a new TV drama inspired by a Stephen King book launched last week to the biggest summer show debut numbers ever.  It was a brilliant programming move by WCBS but one learned at the feet of cable TV who have known for a couple of years that summer shows can score some big numbers.  I believe the Under the Dome pilot had in excess of 13 million viewers.

Media consumption and TV viewership have changed, no doubt.  Marketing has not.  Sellers of product know that if you find a market or segment with “pent up demand,” the consumers are just itching to spend. This is first mover stuff.

Summer used to be filled with all reruns and so viewership was down. CBS saw this void and filled it.  If we take the need for entertainment in the summer evening as the pent up demand and look beyond a TV solution, what else might we find? Books? Snacking? Wine? Music? Other relaxatives?  There is pend up demand for summer time activities that entertain and relax. Any thoughts?  Peace.

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