An Organizing Principle.


I came across a cool London ad firm yesterday by the name of Mr. President (Love the name.) In the About section of the website was a somewhat sprawling description of its brand craft, outlining 6 components:

  • Position: A strategic positioning for a brand which defines the business opportunity and informs the brand purpose.
  • Ethos: A unique brand story that defines its purpose and inspires its personality and behaviour.
  • Identity: A set of guidelines that demonstrate and define how the brand looks, talks and moves.
  • Comms: A campaign or moment that boldly defines the brand purpose.
  • Connectors: An extensive plan that defines how the brand should interact with the audience.
  • Measurement: A rigorous framework that defines and quantifies performance and unearths actionable insight.

It’s comprehensive but also prescriptive. I’m sure it will work within the walls of Mr. President but not likely outside of the agency. And that’s what brand strategy is all about.  A framework that can be shared over time and place.

I looked over the six, well thought-out elements and realized they are covered in What’s The Idea’s? Claim and Proof framework — with the possible exception of “identity.”  If we view purpose as claim then properly done all the behaviors mentioned can become proofs. So we are mostly in alignment, but in a cleaner more measurable way.

A mentor of mine at McCann-Erickson once parried an AT&T client comment with “Campaigns are overrated.”  I riff on that with “Campaigns come and go a powerful brand idea is indelible.”

Brand strategy is an organizing principle. Anchored to claim.