One thing I like to dig into when account and brand planning is the “role of the product” in the life of the consumer. What need does the product or service fulfill? Physically, emotionally and, where some fall short, symbolically. It’s important to understand all three. (Sometimes in fashion advertising, marketers only look at the symbolic which can create great sales spikes and great advertising, but doesn’t always sustain.)
As an anthropology student back in the day, I learned that rites, rituals and symbols play functional roles in culture — they aren’t random. Anthropologists are used in account planning today because they get this. Good planners identify rituals and symbols and can explain their functional role in creative briefs. Great planners find ways to convey them in ways that “tickle” the creative team into brilliant, startling selling promises. If you read a creative brief, be you client or agency, and don’t feel the tickle, the brief sucks.