Another way to get started on seeing your strategy through the insights window is unearthing those real insights about your brand. If a brand is a community of users akin to a club, try thinking about the aspirations of that club’s members. Is the brand a Badge Brand? Think Mercedes or Coach. Their “members” want others to know what they bought. Ever notice how big the nameplate is on that Mercedes? Yes you have.

Some brands sell a Lifestyle. Think Harley-Davidson. Whether the Hog owner is an authentic rough and tumble type or a wannabe weekend warrior/dentist by day, they’re both cut from a cloth that wants to show people, “I’m a tough cookie—don’t mess with me—I’m a Harley.” The key with the lifestyle brand is to sell the emotional appeal to the tribe. They may be independent thinkers, but they want to belong to that group.

What about a Challenger Brand. In this corner is David, the smaller, weaker contender vs. the powerful Goliath. Lots of folks today can relate to that narrative. Lots of real people root for the underdog. Remember #2 car rental company Avis with their “We try harder” campaign. Avis, a Challenger Brand, was pretty darn successful at taking market share from the big Goliaths up top.

Perhaps the best way people in advertising “do” strategy is when they work hard at being good at being observers of the world. The best at it are identifiers of ideas. Cultivators of culture. Students of the art of persuasion. Want to be a painter? It’s smart to study Van Gogh. Want to be in advertising? It’d be wise to study the best in the business. That’s how the best get there and how they and stay inspired. It’s how they repurpose old ideas into new applications. It’s how they make good work. Work that inspires others. Moves the needle. Sells stuff. Even, sometimes, changes the world.

Written by:

Steve Johnson, Managing Partner