Sometimes I am so up in my brands, prioritizing the good-ats and care-abouts, that I lose sight of external drivers of brand value. Keeping from doing this is a secret sauce of brand planning. Brands don’t live in vacuums. They also don’t live at corporate headquarters or the retail store — they live in the minds of customers. They may be managed by corporations but they live with the people. Where they live, that place in the mind – what my colleagues at Brandtuitive call “the movie of the mind” – is where brand preference lies.
Care-abouts and good-ats are a great place to start for brand planners, but big cultural, non-endemic values can overpower them. A diaper customer, for instance, may care about the convenience of a Pull-Up, yet may be more motivated by the millions of tons of slow-to-degrade diapers in a landfill. Sustainability over convenience in other words.
Strawberry Frog talks about creating movements; they get the social hive mind.
The slippery slope when playing to culture is that it can change. Embrace and adopt cultural for your brands, however always remember who pays the bills. Brand strategy is defined as an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging. An organizing principle with preference as its goal and bank as its success measure.