The brand planning lifecycle.

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1.    A brand is a set of consumer associations surrounding a product or service.

2.    A brand is packaging surrounding a product or service.

These two definitions make sense. It’s not an either/or deal.  The packaging of a product or service creates consumer associations.  One is the result of the other. In the packaging, if we are focused and consistent, appealing and important, meaningful and relevant, the associations will motivate purchase and retain ballast.

Brand planners rarely have the opportunity to create new brands. More often than not we’re brought in to fix or recast them. The tabula rasa approach (a clean slate) to brand planning is exciting and challenging; there is no past, only context into which one introduces the new product. But when taking on an existing brand, one must deal with lots of baggage. Some good, some bad. Using my stock pot metaphor for discovery, good ingredients and bad ingredients go into the pot. Liver, mustard greens, etc.  Planners have to deal with the entire lifecycle of associations. Old ad campaigns die hard. Brand recalls don’t die. Positives may lie outside the new sweet spot. Baggage.

In either case – new brand or old — the future is where the planner must look. In marketing wars the future holds life. The bravado, awards, metals and medallions of yesteryear or yesterday, hold no sway. There is only tomorrow in planning. (Look the word up. Hee hee). Peace.