I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, advertising, positioning and marketing are all about finding a strategy, getting management to support it, then turning it into a powerful branding idea. With a branding idea in place you’ll find it pretty easy to create a campaign (not an overrated approach today) and tactics which will allow consumers to hum your brand tune. Metaphorically speaking.
A branding idea is nothing more than an organizing principle that focuses selling messages to the masses. Often companies do a better job organizing their outbound messages – branding – than their inbound messages. This is most evident in early stage start-ups, where when you ask ten employees what the product is you get 7 answers. Branding must acculturate consumers and employees.
In its simplest form a branding idea is a claim (a consumer promise) backed by a product quality. For Coke, “refreshment” is both a claim and a quality. I sometimes refer to this as the “Is-Does.” Once you have a claim, it only takes hold if accompanied by believable supports or reasons to believe. Supports should be organized too. Brand plans, I preach, should contain 3 support planks. Sounds easy no?