When I present brand strategy, I’m presenting words on paper. No mood board. No customer journey montage. No recorded customer interviews. Just words. And those words, typically presented in serial, near story form, lead to a benefit claim – a single-minded value proposition capturing the emotional and logical reason to buy. Done right, the claim is pregnant with meaning and brand-positive interpretations. Hopefully, poetic in its memorability, it will often sound like a tagline – but not a campaign tagline.
In addition to the claim I present “proof planks.” Proof planks are the organized reasons to believe the claim. Three in total. Proof planks cement the brand claim. Without proof, a claim is just advertising.
Back to the “How do you know?” question. Clients know they have a good brand strategy when it captures the essence of the brand’s reason for being. And when the proof supporting that essence (claim) is not only familiar it’s filial. The job of the brand planner is not to rearrange words that make the client nod. It is to boil down those words into a single, powerful sentence. Like naming a baby in reverse — after they are grown.
No easy feat.