Strategy and Sausages:
A British Strategic Planner in Germany
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Brand models have their uses. It's good for everyone working with a brand to know what it stands for, long-term. But I have always felt that most models lack dynamism and energy. They are usually something two-dimensional on a piece of paper, with lots of words that have been carefully honed and slaved-over. When I worked on the agency side, it was difficult to take a client model and develop creative work from it that was stunning, brilliant, breath-taking - and relevant.
Quite often the breath-takingness would come from somewhere external - a clever film technique, an audacious topical joke, some cute furry creatures. Mainly because the agency wouldn't know where to start. Yes, this is your brand positioning for the next five decades, but what is it that we want to focus on right now?
I recently dug out a paper I wrote twenty years ago at Saatchis which proposed a way of thinking about people and brands and the energy that connects them. I found that I still go back to this again and again:
* a brand has many properties
* a group of consumers may have a variety of human motivations or desired end benefits
* one brand detonator can deliver the energy from the brand to consumers to achieve the desired end benefits - this energy is produced when the the brand and user come into contact and, once experienced, it acts like a magnet to draw the two together.
This "spark" should be the basis of the communications proposition.
So, it comes back to overlap and connection. What are all the properties of the brand? Everything from character to physical attributes? What is the user focused on? Wants, needs, desires, motivations?
And what's the connection? Find it and push to detonate.
When I was little, I wanted to be a spy. I got off to a good start, studying Psychology at Trinity College, Cambridge but somehow got side-tracked into the wonderful world of advertising and marketing.
My children's books: