Remember the days before you had Google Maps on your phone, when you actually knew how to get from Point A to Point B with a map. More importantly, you actually knew how roads connected with one another, the nuisances of the streets (i.e., one way), and understood how to decipher highways signs, like knowing federal highways that are even numbers run east/west and odd run north/south. (Umm, did anyone else forget that?) Most importantly, you were aware of your surroundings and hypersensitive to stimuli as you went on your way. You might have even turned off your radio as you got closer to pay more attention.
With the availability of turn-by-turn voice directions on our phones, we now only plug in the destination and pay little attention to how we actually get there. Today’s brand planning process reminds me of this new way of navigating. The complex and often convoluted planning process with its numerous templates and forms has taken all the thinking, instinct, and context out of the equation. You know the destination – gold standard, increased market share, etc – but you have little idea of the route you should take to reach it.
You’ve heard news stories, I’m sure, of drivers aimlessly following their navigation apps to their own peril. Is your brand planning process setting you up for the same, just not so public, fate?