Pandering Palaver.


I’ve been thinking a lot about brand strategy claims lately. A brand strategy claim is a brief, almost poetic, statement of value which predisposes a customer to buy. At my brand house, it boils down a brand’s top good-ats with customer care-abouts. Endemic care-abouts.  (I may care about being a good father, but UBS investments aren’t going me make me such.)  

When you borrow non-endemic brand values for your claim, it’s disingenuous.  There are a lot of brand planners who think they will win hearts and minds using a pandering palaver of claims.  But when you promise to fix a person’s (or planet’s) weakness with a product that has nothing to do with it, it’s cheating.

Some brand planners, during discovery want to dig into company values.  But they define values in woo-woo terms. My definition of values is closer to benefits.  Having great social values is the price of doing business; it’s not brand position. For instance, Patagonia positions around sustainability, but I would venture to say product durability is a stronger position and brand claim. Imply sustainability. Let the creative teams color the work with it, but position around product durability.

Brand strategy claims have a responsibility to move customers closer to a sale – not make them better people.


PS. I’m about as woo woo as you are going to find. I live in Asheville. I haven’t taken a paper bag from a deli or bagel store in decades. Woo-woo R Us. Just not in my brand claims.