Mining is actually a good brand planning analogy. During the planning process where one combs research and interviews stakeholders and consumers planners are searching for nuggets of ore. Ore that might direct one to a vein or the mother lode. In my planning rigor, my ore is proof. Examples of acts. Facts. Actions. It’s ironic that while searching for proof, I don’t know yet know the claim. In my consultancy a brand strategy consists of 1 claim and 3 proof planks. At this stage, I’m nugget hunting.
(Just to level set, here are examples of things that are not proof: exception care, innovative design, tailored-to-meet-your-needs. These fall into the area of claim; and as claims they are a little wan. A little over used.)
Discovery in brand planning is listening, watching, paying attention to detail – almost being a human Galvinic Skin Response test – then categorizing the proof into clusters. It may sounds a little backwards, hunting for proof before identifying the claim, but it’s not. People can tell stories about proof. People light up citing proof. People are reticent, however, when it comes to claim. Reticent because it sounds like bragging. Because it is not always true.
Mine for proof first and your plan will have a stable foundation. Peace.