Here’s an interesting brand planning question.
“How complicated is your brand?” I’ll bet 8 out of 10 C-level execs would answer “Not very complicated at all.”
“We are a network of doctors.
We sell interactive white boards to schools.
We are an ad agency.
We are a tool used to build websites.
We are a consulting company.”
These uncomplicated answers typically focus on the Is of the Is-Does. The question begs for simple answers. And it asks the C-level to pass judgment. No one except for coders and surgeons likes to celebrate complexity.
Yet when I get into marketing departments and do a little deep dive, complexity always rears its head. It is where we get into the Does of the Is-Does. What the product does for consumers. Rationally and emotionally. We look at targets and segments. Most valued customers. Highest sales customers. Biggest referring custies. We break out the Excel charts. And because marketing is not just about making brochures and ads (though some would argue otherwise), we focus on product experience and price and line extensions and the pulsing of the bank account.
Brands are complicated without a plan. With a plan, not so much. With a plan we look at the complicated things through a lens of strategy. Always through the lens.
So, back to the original question. How does a brand go from “It’s not very complicated” to a mish mash of tactics, spreadsheets, sales reports, channel problems and lax sales. Poor planning. Peace!