Unbridled Proof Needs to Be Organized.


My alma mater Rollins College recently posted a marketing video on YouTube. Set to violin music it is a visual listing of accomplishments over the course of the year. Lots of number 1 rankings followed by certain student honors, awards, social initiatives, celebrations of students past and a recap of campus investments and improvements. Had I done discovery on the brand I’m sure many of these things would have been circled as proofs. (I run an evidence-based brand planning shop.)

But what must happen with proof in brand strategy and marketing efforts is it needs to be organized. Rollins tried to organize it but the vid just came off as a sophomoric listicle. All attenuated at the end of the video with a line “Make Tomorrow Happen.”

Marketing videos are not an amalgam of randomized brush strokes, they’re an organized equation of value. Some might say a story. Something that creates a lasting and indelible memory.

Brand strategy is an “organizing principle for product, experience and messaging.” The operative word is organized. Sans organization the proof is a marketing list. Sans proof, the marketing list becomes advertising.