One of my favorite definitions of “brand” is “an empty vessel into which we pour meaning.” It’s a statement about the malleability of brands. But under further scrutiny the definition isn’t 100% accurate — most brands aren’t really empty, are they? Blaze Pizza has a special crust, sauce, cheese. Fat Tire beer offers a unique malty taste profile. A Ford Mustang Mach-E is a line extension containing lots of built up and carry-over meaning. Nothing empty about that. And, of course, brand have names. Names which when done right, offer up a view into the product and, hopefully, convey a special value.
It is the job of the brand planner and brand manager to take what exists inside the vessel and enhance it. Refine it. Compliment and strengthen it. It’s the brand strategy that lets creators and marketers develop and energize the bond between consumers and the brand. It all starts with the brand strategy.
My definition of brand strategy is “an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging.” And to organize you need a framework. Mine is built upon claim and proof. My framework simplifies decision-making, adds direction to the creative process and informs all four Ps of marketing.
Get yourself a vessel. Get yourself a framework. And land on a brand strategy. Chaos be gone.