The name of my company is Whats The Idea?, and it’s fitting. But it’s not the whole story of this brand strategy business. To most consumers the word “idea” conveys a business only about an idea. In brand strategy the idea is important – it’s the key thought or boil-down of the brand’s value proposition. But brand strategy is here defined as “an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging.” And that goes beyond an idea. More accurately, the organizing principle is one claim (or the idea) and three proof planks — supports for the claim.
A claim unsupported or without tangibles to make one believe, is simple-minded. And sadly, simple-minded is what much branding and advertising is. Proof planks are the structure of the brand strategy. It’s the science behind the claim. Why three? Because three can hold up a claim… and three can be remembered.
By itself the “idea” is not enough to build a brand. It must be supported by discrete clusters of proof. And that ladies and gentlemen is the secret to proper brand strategy. To measurable brand strategy. Not the brand voice. Not the brand mission. Not the brand personality. All mildly important, but not foundational. Those elements are tactical and the domain of ad agencies.
So, if your branding agency or content creator who purports to do branding talks about voice, mission or personality, ask them about proof of claim. Organized proof of claim.