Reading an article yesterday on Haider al-Abadi, the new prime minister of Iraq, greatly informed my brand planning thinking. In two ways. What’s the Idea? readers know how I feel about brand “claim and proof.” Well, evidence is another word for proof. When Mr. Abadi wants Iraqis to know there is a new sheriff in town, and that there will be a more pluralistic nation state in Iraq he did a few things differently. While predecessor al-Maliki went before Parliament 2 times in 8 years, Mr. Abadi has been 3 time in his first couple of months. When there were disputes between tribes threatening to hold up military action against ISIS, Mr. Abadi rolled up his sleeves and mediated traditional blood money solutions.
If his claim is “change” the evidence must be tangible.
Learning for brand planners is similar. But before we get to claim and evidence we need to deeply understand the category. A thorough understanding of the bigger category picture, is important before we focus on our specific brand work. For instance, I understand what it takes to improve K12 education before I recommend an interactive white board solution. I understand what it takes to fix the U.S. healthcare system, before I recommend a physician group. I know the impact of obesity on the masses and families before I recommend a weight loss modality. And so on.
When a brand planner gets the big picture, s/he can then safely focus on the smaller picture. And when serving up that smaller picture claim, be sure to provide lots of memorable evidence. All claim and no proof is wasted an all but the production company. Peace.