Brand Strategy Proof Planks and Interdependence.


I studied Anthropology in college.  Cultural anthropology – the fieldwork, the unfettered observation of people and cultures has helped my brand strategy practice.  But so has physical anthropology, the study of the adaptation to change by living things.  You know, the ascent of man stuff.

In his Op-Ed column this morning, Thomas Friedman talked of climate change and how it is not the strongest or smartest species that survives climate change (dinosaurs, for instance), rather it is the most diverse,  “…the most adaptive ecosystems are usually the most diverse, offering different ways to adapt. They thrive because they’re able to forge health interdependencies among the different plants and animals, and in doing so, maximize their resilience and growth.

Brand strategies, too, must offer a diverse and interdependent way forward. The secret to my framework is three proof planks. Taken together these planks create the business-winning proposition. Individually they are ads — or floating claims in a kelp bed of marketing. Brand strategy is a long-term game. Sometimes the 3 proof planks can be at odds. One may diminish the other. But life is messy and branding can be too. Yet taken together, in support of one claim, three well-thought-out brand planks provide a healthy interdependence that can last the tests of time. And the test of change.


PS. For examples of how planks can be at odds and yet work together write