Some of my best brand strategy work has been done when asked to do something else. I’ve been hired to rebuild a website for a small commercial company, to fix a floundering relationship between client and agency, and to create a content marketing strategy for a trillion dollar financial institution. Had I told them I was a brand planner “here to fix your brand,” they would have thought me a vacuum cleaner salesman. Rather, they had a need and I held that need up first and foremost — addressing the “buildable.”
Buildables are how modern day agencies are paid. Rare is the day that strategy is a line item on an invoice. (It’s getting better, but not close to the rule.)
So with an eye on the buildable, I go to work. On a brief. Most pop advertising and marketing theory today suggests using a short brief. Not me. I like to go all Medium.com on the brand strategy. The idea from the brief is short and focused, yet the journey to the idea is rich. Yesterday I presented a two word brand idea. Can you imagine? 20 +interviews, thousands of words and stories in the strategy stock pot, lots of IP and category learning over the years and a 2 word brand strategy? (It was supported by 3 planks and lots of proof.) Audacious? Hardly.
It fit. It organized. It created a launching pad for buildables. Peace.