The two tools I use in brand planning are the brand strategy and the marketing communications plan. An old colleague used to refer to the education business as made up of “things and stuff.” His logic was that things are the tangibles – something that goes thump when you drop it. The “stuff” refer to the stuff you teach. Nice idea, but poor word selection me thinks. Most people think of stuff as tangible and touchable. My brand planning tools are about the “strategy” and the “tools” (stuff). The tools are the ads, the web, PR, promotions, etc.
Brand strategy in my hose comprises 1 claim and 3 proof planks. You can write a mission statement, messaging ephemera, tone personality and lot of other shizzle, but they tend to murky up the brand waters more often than not. One claims and 3 supports is all you and anyone need to operationalize and organize your brand’s world. Interbrand, Landor and all the other branding shops will agree (behind closed doors.) Once that heavy lifting is done all the stuff you make is either on or off strategy.
So ask yourself, does you brand have a claim? And have you organized that claim’s supports into three discrete, powerful, endemic, customer care-abouts? Few have. It can be your edge. Peace!
Go out and enjoy a parade this weekend!