The IS and The DOES.


The IS is a foundational brand element.  It is a clear explanation of what a product or service IS.  If you are a restaurant you are not a bar. If you are an Italian restaurant you are not a French restaurant. If a professional services provider, say in the insurance business, you are not an accountant. If you only sell property and casualty insurance, not health, you must make that known in your marketing and branding. It’s part of the IS. I learned a lot about the IS when working in the technology sector, especially with start-ups. Apple’s iPhone was way more than phone, but that is what they chose as their IS, to launch the idea. Service companies have trouble with the IS.

Now for the DOES. The DOES is what the brand or service does. It offers up a key value or consumer benefit. When deciding upon the DOES marketers often fall prey to the “Fruit Cocktail Effect.” They like to think they’re good at so many things that they position around all those things, and none stick out. And the cherry tastes like the grape, which tastes like the peach and pear…a sugary confection sans any individual taste at all.  So software tools default to productivity and fast food defaults to convenience.

Getting the Is-Does right is basic blocking and tackling in branding. It may sound simple, until you try it.