Every brand planner has his or her own toolkit. But basically they drop themselves into a category or brand space and learns. They understand the product, competition, care-abouts and functions. If they’re smart they also try to understand the business and finances. A dive into the culture of the buying is important. And learning the language of the category is not underrated.
After all information is amassed, balanced by some qualitative data, it’s time to put paper to pencil. Or finger to keyboard. This is where the good brand planners separate from the not so.
My key tool is the brief. Many brand planner use a brief to create strategy…or a fill in the box template. Same thing.
The real key in crafting a brief is the “boil down.” The boil down removes all non-essential information gathered during discovery. I call it the boil down because it riffs on the metaphor of the stock pot. Fill up the stock pot and boil it down to a very rich bullion at the bottom.
At What’s The Idea?, a brand strategy is one claim, three proof planks. This is the organizing principle for brand strategy. Four things. That’s a lot of boiling.