Very – 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.

Stages to brand loyalty will eventually lead us to emotional value.

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