Brand Planning Tips


Hank O’Brien, was a Group Director of mine at McCann-Erickson NY in the 90s.  He had great chops for a Mad Man and a good intellect.  One thing he once said to me while doing some brand and marketing planning was “Who is going to lose the sale, you are making?”   It was an interesting way to pose the question about the competition.  And it didn’t always target a direct competitor. If you were advertising a new product or service, something that had no direct competitor, you might be talking sales from another category. Or two.

The fact is and was, the money has to come from somewhere and it’s good to know that somewhere. It lends behavioral context.

Uber, for instance, takes money away from cab companies.  That’s a clean take-away. Netflix, takes money from movie theaters and cable companies and network television. It can also take money from bars and restaurants. Not so clean.

Good planners follow the money.  That too, is good advice.

When you are making your touchy-feely brand value decisions, it’s always important to align them in some way with commercial advantage. We are not mercenaries, but our clients are.