Officious is a wonderful word and one too infrequently used in strategic planning. An adjective, it is defined as: objectionably aggressive in offering one’s unrequested and unwanted services, help, or advice; meddlesome: an officious person. Strategies that lead to this type of brand claim are a blight. Conversely, strategies so soft and huggable consumers cozy up to a tangent in order to get the brand claim, are also a blight. Some might call that borrowed interest.
What does Coke do better than any other soft drink? Refresh. People want to be refreshed, so offering up examples of how and when Coke refreshes in not officious. Telling them Coke is more refreshing (world’s most, more people refresh, more refreshing than…) is. As Coke and Wieden and Kennedy would have you believe today, Coke makes you Happy. That’s borrowed or tangential. It makes for nice advertising and playful Coke machines, but is an indirect sell. When Coke gets back to its core refreshment value and shows us how it refreshes, proves how it refreshes, the advertising will sell more.
The line between officiousness and borrowed, tangential value in not a fine line, ii’s a chasm. So what do so many brand strategies jump to one or the other? It’s dysfunction, is what it is. Peace!