Brand planks are business-building supports for the brand claim. (A brand strategy contains one claim, three supports.) With a brand claim in hand, in order for it to become real, remembered and practiced it needs to be proved. All claim and no proof is what befalls most poor marketing and advertising programs today. That’s where the planks come in. Combined, the 3 planks create an impenetrable barrier for brand success.
You can do all the quantitative research in the world to find out what consumers want in your product or service — but changing your business to deliver those things does not translate into success. This is a perspective difference between a marketing strategy and a brand strategy. The brand strategy also factors in what the company is good at and famous for.
Brand planks don’t always fall into nice little containers either. They can be features, benefits, qualities, behaviors, or functions. For an all-natural cookie, I once used “moisture” as a plank. For a health system “community integration.” For a commercial maintenance company “preemptive.”
When I talk with clients about brand plan as an organizing principle, the claim gets all the glory but the planks do the work. Peace.