Fiction is a big seller in today’s arts and entertainment world. Watch all the trailers before a movie the next time you go and see what we are pumping money into. Look at top selling books today and winning TV programming.
Fiction also plays a heavy hand in marketing these days. And it’s up to brand planners to quell the movement. In my brand strategy practice, as in the majority of fellow practices, I look for truths about the product. Truths that radiate from what consumers “care about” and product is “good-at.” Every once in a while, I run into a care-about that is so important to a decision making process that it must find its way into the brand strategy (one claim, three proof planks), even if not a key brand strength. (I will never create a brand plank unless there is a least a middling strength in the area.) For example, in K-12 education it is known that active parents, who lord over their children’s work and effort, produce better academic outcomes. For a brand with great strength in classroom technology and teacher professional development, I recommended strengthening “parent involvement” activities and tools. Was it fiction? No. A bit of a stretch maybe but the company already had some tools; this was a strategic decision to evolve further.
In brand strategy never leave the truth for fiction. When you do, brands get lost.