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  • Claire Vincent

Brand planning - form filling or story telling?

With a fresh new year stretching ahead of us, marketing minds may be turning to Brand Planning.

How does that work in your organisation? What springs to mind when you think about Brand Planning? The annual event of digging out templates? Taking last year's Brand Plan and seeing if anything's changed? Wondering what your budget will be and how you can spend it? Paying lip service to the forms and viewing it as a job to just get through?

I'm being harsh and, just to be clear, I'm not against templates and the Brand Planning process - it provides a useful structure to get us thinking - but the key is not to get bogged down in the end goal of a filled in template - focus on the thinking and not on the completion of the forms.

Test yourself before you put pen to paper (read: finger to keyboard), could you tell someone the story of your brand? Take them on a brief journey to bring to life where your brand has been for the last few years: what has happened, what you have learned, what you're not going to do again, what the data is showing you, what's worrying you (be brave and say it), what excites you, the biggest challenge the brand faces, what needs to happen in the coming year(s) and how you are going to make it happen. Bring to life who is buying your brand, where it sits in store/ on a website, what people are saying (the good and the bad) and how you want and will make the next chapter of your brand's story pan out.

Each part of the Brand Plan should flow like a well-written story so that the people who make decisions about your brand can get their heads around the journey your brand is on and what needs to be true (comms, trade, product, activation, budget etc) for the next chapter of your brand's story to be the best one yet.

Don't just fill out the forms....create a story for your brand. It'll be richer for it.

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