I was at the Beautiful Minds event recently, celebrating the work of Griffin Farley through a competition of tyro brand planners, and was asked a question by someone I admire about the quality of the work. On the spot to say something important, I mentioned the work was very nice and of the problem-solution variety. “Very nice” when speaking to a Brit means okay. Brilliant means good. Hee hee.
The work was good indeed. The irk for me, however, was the problem-solution thing. Understanding problems and solutions is important for context. But if you stay in problem land it can be lazy trade craft.
Using brand planning to promote hope and justice and other feel-good ideals, related to the endemic “sell” of a product, is taking planning to the next level. And please don’t read that to mean donate 1% of sales to a cause (not that there’s anything wrong with it). We need to be bigger and more aspirational with our brand strategy ideas. And, if not with the ideas, then with the brand planks supporting those ideas.
Movements, storytelling and culture are the haps in planning these days, but hope and justice is what sparks these things. Can there be skin justice in a Nivea brief? How about hope in a Chevy brief? Let’s find out. It’s better than problem-solution.