After I’ve delivered a brand strategy, a client may ask me “Now what?” Meaning, what do they do differently.  My answer is execute. Make stuff, e.g., marketing materials and programs, that deliver on your brand claim. Market to the strategy — invest in your claim and proof.

What’s The Idea? readers know brand building is not about claim alone.  It’s about proof. Marketers must work the proof planks. (Proof planks are groupings of reasons to believe.)

I often grouse about benefit-shoveling. A tactic used in advertising where marketers load-up on benefits bludgeoning consumers into buying. By the pound, if you will.  Well good communications tell a single story. A linear story that uses logic. Benefit-shoveling confuses. It obfuscates and it overshares. The best ads are single-minded.

For good brand craft, tell your story focused on a single proof plank. Don’t combine all three. Branding is a long game.  Using a sports analogy, don’t explain how good your football team is by talking about the offense, the defense and the coaching all at once. Pick one.

For brand managers approving marketing materials developed by creative partners, start off by asking “What proof plank will we looking at today?” And, “What specific proof(s) will you be highlighting?” That’s brand strategy.  That sets the tone for presentation and approvals of the work.