Thought vs. Conveyance.


Faris (he’s like Cher) is an itinerant brand planner who has a nice relationship with WARC, a brand and marketing research org in Washington DC.  Yesterday Faris and Rosie, his partner, held a rather nice webinar on the broadening of media channels and what to do about it. His food pyramid metaphor was quite intriguing and worthy of study.

Towards the end of the preso Faris stated “Consistency of thought is more important than consistency of look and feel.” This, in the context of the integration of marketing work. As a kid growing up in the ad business I was a big fan of campaigns. They were an organizing principle.  But look and feel and even the much-touted “voice” are not thought. They’re dressing. They are envelopes.  If implemented in a way that conveys a consistent thought, they can work. But if they overwhelm the thought, they get in the way.

No one ever said “I love the taste of a red, white and blue beer can.”  

Another brand planner of note, Marc Pollard (pronounced Poh-lard), is on the verge of publishing a book called Strategy is Your Words. Mr. Pollard is all about the thought, the idea. First. Conveyance second.

Building brands based on thought and strategy rather than conveyance is the correct order of brand planning and, therefore, marketing.  The problem with 90% of marketing is that it is backwards. Conveyance is more important than thought. Show me the shiny. It’s silly.