Truth and creativity
This guy preached that brand strategy was the most critical creative project for a brand. Indeed, he'd say, great strategy will overcome average execution, but even stellar execution will fail if the strategy behind it is poor.
To succeed, strategy creation had to begin by seeking truth inside the brand. The energizing idea: Somewhere inside every good brand is the key to its strategic success. Find this differentiating factual tidbit, link it to a logical-yet-provocative promise, and consumers can be enticed to look-- or take a second look-- at your brand.
At the end of the process, bringing creative judgement to bear, you arrived at a "what if I told you" premise, a new link between a distinctive product fact and consumer need. Here lies the power to change minds, and change purchase behavior.
Finding the truth
To see how all this can work in practice, rather than recalling an example from the past, let's look at a current example, Budweiser. There are few beer brands that could use a sound marketing strategy more.
Of course, we can't be privy to all the many brewery research studies or every product fact for the King of Beers, so our effort here won't be perfect. But for illustrative purposes, we can work with what is available to us and see where it leads.
And maybe most intriguing of all, to our knowledge, this particular fact had never played any important role in the brand's advertising; it was new to me, and I expect, would be new to the rest of America. New information like this, as any psychologist will tell you, can be key to getting people to change their behavior. As in returning to a beer brand they'd abandoned, or perhaps even trying that brand for the first time.
The intriguing product fact:
Budweiser still uses the original brewer's yeast culture strain from 1876. The very same culture. Yeast defines the taste of beer and it can be easily adulterated, so the brewery has safeguarded this culture for 130 years, while keeping it secret from outside eyes. All of this means every ounce of Budweiser ever brewed shares a taste-defining common connection.
Like every creative act, there's always a bit of a leap involved here.
In our next installment, we'll offer such a leap.