How important is brand planning in an agency?

brand-planningVery – it seems. Returning from a great lecture by #apgwest where the lecture aimed at getting more value out of strategic thinking – boy! Did it do that. Three great lectures from Mary Baskin, Craig Harries and Mark Hancock, head of planning at The Real Adventure, the location of the lectures and a great studio.

What is planning? Your brand strategy is the discipline of planning, of setting a course for the long term to achieve specific brand goals which are aligned to the business plan. You can’t have a strategy without a clear objective.

Why plan? Simply to grow the business. Lets start with a brief, either client created or created by the agency – cover: clarity, brevity and fertility. In other words distillation of information is crucial to a clear direction using concise and exact language. The brief should give way to innovation and fertile thinking, nurture the creative (gardening). At the same time a brief does need effectiveness, ROI, key performance indicator (KPI) and a nod to the culture of the brand.

Ok, what do we base this information on and how do we get it? Social metric testing especially that of the Edelman Trust Barometer – understanding humans is a key part of planning/strategy. Praxeology – is study of human action, it is known humans engage in purposeful behaviour, as well as reflexive behaviour like sneezing etc. Ludwig Von Mises was a key practitioner in this area of study.

It has also been noted that people find Google more credible than The Guardian, opinions and fact put together by educated and highly informed people. We’re outsourcing our questions to the internet. This is often a good thing, but it comes with a drawback. The cloud is making us ignorant: unaware of what we don’t know. “People don’t believe facts – they believe experts” If we can say we are an expert whose to say people should believe or not, after all its on Google, must correct – right?

Stages to brand loyalty will eventually lead us to emotional value. This is huge a factor in our decision making – a piece of paper has no intrinsic value, however get your child to draw on the paper, this immediately gives it emotional value.

At the end of the day we need to understand humans.

A class lecture by world class people, summarised in my mediocre note making – well done

Semiotics – The study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation.
Discourse analysis – is a general term for a number of approaches to analyse written, vocal, or sign language use, or any significant semiotic event – study how people talk.
Praxeology – is the deductive study of human action, based on the notion that humans engage in purposeful behaviour, as opposed to reflexive behaviour like sneezing and inanimate behaviour.
Ludwig von Mises – He is best known for his work on praxeology, a study of human choice and action
Edelman Trust Barometer – has revealed A Tale of Two Britains. … The survey is Edelman’s 16th annual trust and credibility survey. It measures trust across a number of institutions, sectors and geographies. The 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer surveyed more than 33,000 respondents across 28 countries