As the role of marketing director gets more complicated, owing to all the new tools and arithmetic available to sellers and selling agents, the brand plan grows in importance. I met with smart strategist Noah Brier a while ago and he asked me “How do you define a brand plan?” Everyone has a different definition, he added. Truism that.
My brand plan is quite simple: One claim, three proof planks. The claim embodies or pays off the Is-Does (what a brand is and what a brand does) and the proof planks (or supports) organize the story – into 3 telling and impactful reasons to believe. A brand plan is an organizing principle for selling more.
I wrote a consultant this morning telling her how most companies can save mad money by investing in a tight brand plan. Rather than pay a marketing person $150,000 a year, a company can pay $90,000 per year if the brand plan is definitive. And if the KPIs (key performance indicators) are correct. And beyond the annualized salary savings, don’t forget the money spent on wasted tactics each year by marketing organizations — money that could be saved with a brand plan. John Wanamaker’s famous suggestion that only ‘half his advertising was working, he just didn’t know which half,’ can also be applied to marketing tactics today. We are living tactics-palooza. More cowbell, I mean, more social media!
My business is called What’s the Idea? for a reason. Most businesses don’t have an idea (a brand strategy) they can articulate without going all mark-babble and tripping over their tongues. One idea, three selling planks. Pieces!