The allure of horoscopes is that they appear to speak specifically and uniquely to the reader’s circumstances, but in actuality, they include a deft blend of generalities and platitudes that allow them to apply to almost everyone.
Today’s brand managers, in the throws of brand plan development, need to have their guard up to ensure they don’t inadvertently build a ‘horoscope brand plan’ – one that to those closest to the brand plan appears to be full of specifics, yet under careful examination could apply to any brand.
A couple of tell tale signs to look out for:
- Lack of specificity in brand communication platform – allows inclusion of almost any tactical investment that seemingly aligns to an overly broad positioning
- Ability to play Competitive Mad Libs® – looking at your strategic map and corresponding positioning, you can clearly substitute your brand name with your competitors and it still works
- Inclusion of strategic platitudes – classics are ‘differentiate from competition,’ ‘drive patient acquisition,’ or ‘focus on retaining existing patients’
- Financial and strategic land grab among agency partners – lack of validated channel mix to objectively guide investments often leads to a battle for budget and mindshare among your key agency partners
But, does it really matter?
Due to our unique Evidence-Based Marketing approach, we consistently see the seeds for sub-optimal execution sown in the brand planning and development process. In addition, the lack of specificity associated with ‘horoscope brand planning’ prevents the Brand Team from distributing accountability to functional partners as well as external strategic partners.
So, do you want to learn more about our clients who have ditched the Magic 8 Ball and gone on to develop focused, differentiated, and highly accountable brand plans? Give me call.