Is-Does and Claim and Proof.


Claim and proof may be my biggest contribution to the brand planning world. But first a story about another planning tool meme: the Is-Does. I was sitting in a parlor in Brooklyn many years ago with a number of stakeholders and volunteers for Bailey’s Café a community organization designed help Bed-Stuy students. We were all there to talk about building momentum. No one knew where to start the conversation so enter the planner. “Let’s go around the room and answer these two questions,” I suggested, “What Is Bailey’s Care? and What Does Bailey’s Café Do?” And we were off. Always the get Is-Does right. Back to claim and proof.

Claim and Proof.
I’m currently working with a local small business trying to punch up a flagging business hurt by the coronavirus. We’re looking to use social media, unpaid media, to generate some activity and business without spending money. After zeroing in on a part of the business that seems most fertile and the quickest to triage and I asked the business owner to send me some copy points about the products. As with most marketers, I received a list of claims. Claims are the oxygen marketing runs on today. But they’re a dime a dozen. Unsupported claims riddle the airways and byways of the advertising landscape. We’re drowning in claims. So we spent our time turning those claims to proofs. Evidence. Demonstrations. The things that make claims real.

Proofs build brands. And not random proofs. Organized, disciplined proof. Your claim directs the organizing principle but the proof gives it substance.