Insights.

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Insights are the oxygen of brand planning. Insights about the target. Insights about product features. Insights about the competition. I could go on…and I will. Insights about the market. Insights about prevailing category attitudes. And insights about culture.

Every planner mines insights. It’s what we do. And it drives the brand planning sector of the business. The fact is though, 95% of current planners’ jobs revolve around insights that drive tactical successes. By the project. By the pound.

At What’s The Idea?, the job is upstream of marketing tactics. We set master brand strategy. That is, we establish an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging. Once that organizing principle (read, brand strategy) is developed – our job is done. It can effectively remove the need for brand planners to oversee much subsequent tactical work.  Now, I wouldn’t recommend that — brand planners are still the people most likely to find deeper strategy insights to refine important tactical executions, but it’s a thought.  

I was once at meeting of Conagra’s Banquet brand with all of its agencies. Must have been 40 people in the room. Maybe 8-10 strategy/planner types. Far be it for ConAgra to tell its agencies who to bring to a meeting, but a tight, defined brand strategy would have saved them some time, money and danish.  

Peace.