One of my latest brand planning memes is “what customers want most and what you do best.” (Shit, I need to start tagging that phrase.) It almost always drives the work of good marketers…certainly good brand planners. Problem is, most heavy up on one side of the equation. Case in point: A pal came to me recently in a business development situation asking for thoughts on a company he is pitching. He gave me a quick overview and said his agency is already working on some creative ideas. The company being pitched is in the home improvement space.
I asked if he wanted some thoughts on strategic underpinning to help with creative (or selling the creative). He said sure. I heavied up on the “what you do best” side of the equation by reviewing the website – the only tangible representation of the company I was given beyond the initial 10 minute telephone overview. I neglected to look closely at the “what customers want most” side the house, typically a brand planner’s wheelhouse. (A dive into customer attitudes, motivations and experience.)
This whole exercise was a cursory, non-paid “quickie.” No real rigor. That being said, I dropped the ball by focusing on what was already built — what was already there. My wheelhouse, any brand planners wheelhouse, is the consumer viewpoint. Given the short timeframe, omitting that side of the equation was an error. Lesson learned.