steve at whatstheidea

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I’ve never really parsed the brand name of my consultancy “What’s The Idea?”  While developing the company, which actually started out just as a blog, I wanted to name it What’s The Big Idea?, but I chose against it for URL and simplicity’s sake.  A big idea is better than an idea, one might think, yet it also seemed a big self-aggrandizing. So What’s The Idea it was.

What’s neat about the name is that it is a call to action. If a brand manager or stakeholder can answer the question, it probably has an idea. If the idea can’t be put into a succinct explanation, then un-uh.  If you have no brand idea you have no idea how hard it is to convey value to the consumer world.

Most sane women and men who are captains of industry would respond “How can I maintain a business beneath one idea?” The answer is “By using proof planks.” Proof planks (3 in total) drive business value, consumer value and shareholder value.

You want metrics, I’ll give you metrics. Write me. Steve at Whatstheidea.

Peace.

 

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Cause Strategy

It may be my age, it may be my level of wisdom, it may be age….didn’t I just say that…but a great many of my strategies lately contain an undercurrent of cause marketing. It’s as if my brief also has a line that says “What about this strategy will make the world a better place?” Back in the day my briefs were more likely to have the line “What about this strategy will sell more product, faster, regardless of consequence?”

My new approach certainly is intended sell more product, but it comes in an envelope of comfortable altruism. This new found reliance on educating over selling, undergirds my strategies. “An educated consumer” as they say.

Strategies that are more cause reliant take advantage of cultural context. Cause strategies feel more human. So what do we do with Axe? How do we package Coors Light? Geico?  We do what we always do — but now we think more positively about people, planet and how our persuasion is a positive force. Bang (not a gun ban either).

Peace.

PS. For examples of cause strategies for products write steve at whatstheidea.

 

 

 

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This is a blog about brand planning and marketing. There are millions of marketers in the world and only a thousand or so brand planners. Most brand planners also known as account planners work at ad agencies. The rest are consultants like me, hiring themselves out to agencies or working directly with marketers.

A brand planner is a strategist. In my case, I am an up stream strategist who helps organize product, experience and messaging. My tool is a specialized brand plan, consisting of one claim and 3 proof planks. The word plank was borrowed the political world. Each brand plan has three key planks, all of which support the claim. It’s a family.

What resides in a proof plank? Real examples. Evidence. Existential proof of the brand claim. No platitudes. No marko-babble. No blather or bluster. Just proof.  People remember proof. They remember it before claim.  In healthcare there is lots of talk today about “evidence-based” medicine. That’s what makes a great brand plan. Proof and evidence.

For examples or just a chat about evidence based brand planning, write Steve at WhatsTheIdea.

Peace.

 

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