I used to think 3 proof planks was the way to go for my brand strategy framework. You know, the theory of three – three being, the number of things humans can readily remember. It was a construct borrowed from the political arena. The more I read the political news though, the more I am beginning to think three is too many. With weeks to go before the elections, political platforms are rampant: Inflation, Migration and Crime. Or, Abortion, Guns and Infrastructure. Wait a month and the platforms will all be different. Three is only good if they remain the same. And that is the discipline of the brand planner. Find the 3 key care-abouts and good-ats and stick with them. Through thick and thin. (Politicians don’t think that way. They change platforms like underwear.)
Brand strategy at What’s The Idea? is “one claim and three proof planks.” The claim binds the brand together. ZDNet is for doers not browsers. Northwell Health is a systematized approach to improving healthcare. Sweet Loren’s is craft cookies au naturel. These are strategies, not taglines. Ad agencies can come up with their own campaign memes so long as they deliver the claim. But a claim without proof planks — immovable proof planks — is advertising. Or pell-mell, tactical marketing.
Research your consumers, boil down the key values, stake your claim, and build your brand through proof. Easy.