Coen Brothers.

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A.O. Scott in his New York Times review of the new movie “Inside Llewyn Davis” today nicely captures what makes a Coen Brothers movie a Coen Brothers movie. Says Scott, they offer a “brilliant magpie’s nest of surrealism, period detail and pop-culture scholarship.” To me this description means their work a magnetic, unusual and blasting through context. The Coen’s attention to period detail is another reason I love these guys. Como se “True Grit?”  And pop-culture scholarship just suggests their storytelling is human and humane(ish).

It strikes me that these are qualities that also make for a great brand strategy.  

I often find a little tension when presenting brand strategy… and it tells me I’ve done a good job.  

  • “We know where you live” a brand strategy for Newsday, was a thought a little creepy.
  • “A systematized approach to improving healthcare” for North Shore-LIJ, a bit cold.
  • “We crave attention” for a women-owned PR firm, a smidgen gender-sensitive.

Just as good advertising creative makes you think, feel and do something, so should a strategy. Sometimes, for the squeamish, the do something is ask me “Do we have to use that one word?”  My answer is always “No, it’s a strategy, not a tagline.”

I’m no Ethan and I’m no Joel yet my work aspires to staying power. To muscle memory served up as product value. A great brand plan is an organizing principle that sticks to your ribs.   Peace.