Daily Archives: June 13, 2024

A Brand Strategy Pitch Gone Right.


I was pitching a brand strategy to a client a couple of summers ago, using a presentation process which I replicate pretty much each time.  I lead with some pertinent quotes from interviewees and other smart people, then list off the names of those interviewed (stakeholders, customers, prospects and SMEs), and finally present the brand brief, which I read. It’s a serial story with key chapters/headings which leads to the brand claim and proof array.

Since I’m talking about the company, and use more storytelling language than business language, I tend to have the decisionmakers’ ears. I mean, who doesn’t like to hear about themselves.  When the heads are nodding and the poesy flying, the room warms up. In this particular pitch, things were going well until the CEO interrupted mid-brief and asked me to skip to the end. There is always an end. Apparently busy is as busy does. This had never happened before but what the heck. I went off-piste and jumped to the idea (claim.)  A good planner should be prepared for anything.  If I was flustered I tried not to show it…but, hell, I was in the middle of my song.   

Anyway, the CEO made some good points about the claim: It was too focused on the brand “good-ats”, not enough focused on the customer “care-abouts.” So, I agreed to take another pass and worked out the strategy to everyone’s satisfaction – albeit it a couple of weeks later.

A story from the trenches. Things change. Adapt. And don’t fall in love with your anything.