4A's Strategy Festival Inspire! 2013 - Alex Brands
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4A's Strategy Festival Inspire! 2013 - Alex Brands



Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBLO1mCscrc ...

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBLO1mCscrc

Clients don’t want to pay for it. Creatives don’t always value it. Account people try to substitute for it.

The result? Work that doesn’t work, unhappy clients, and disengaged consumers.

A presentation on revitalizing the value of strategy in advertising from the 2013 4A's Strategy Festival.



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4A's Strategy Festival Inspire! 2013 - Alex Brands Presentation Transcript

  • 1. *Unless
  • 2. If I had only one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem, and only five minutes finding the solution. – Einstein
  • 3. Let’s talk about value.   In looking at how planning can build respect in an organization, we’re really talking about how planning can build value. !  ! So let’s talk about value because that’s really the root of the issue, and if we can understand the mechanism behind value, we can adapt and optimize for it.!  
  • 4. Where does value come from? If we look at value and where it comes from, it turns out that value is a layered idea consisting of three distinct layers.!  
  • 5. Where does value come from?
  • 6. At the shallowest level, value comes from perception. There are things we simply perceive as more valuable than others. Let’s take a simple example: handbags.! ! Two handbags with marginal differences in raw materials and labor can be sitting next to each other on a shelf, and because of a simple label, we’re willing to pay double. That’s perception-based value.!  
  • 7. Rory Sutherland has a phenomenal Ted Talk on the power of perception, and one of his examples deals with Prussia in 1813. At the time, Prussia was at war with France and the upper class was asked to turn in their precious metals to the state for the raw material value. As a substitute, the Prussian noblemen had their jewelry remade in cast iron, and for the next 50 years, the most valuable jewelry in Prussia wasn’t gold or silver. It was cast iron.!
  • 8. If we go one level deeper, the next facet of value comes from utility. ! Something has value because it serves a purpose or function.!  
  • 9. So a household item, like a paper towel, has value because it serves a tangible purpose. You have dirty dishes and you need to clean them. A paper towel has inherent value there. The majority of objects we encounter on a daily basis fall into this layer.! Now, what’s interesting is that once something breaches the utility layer of value, the perception of value is inherent. If something serves a purpose, it has utilitarian value and perceived value baked in. !
  • 10. This brings us to the deepest level of value: rarity. ! ! The easy go-to here is diamonds, but because they don’t really serve a purpose, I would prefer to go with an emerging technology like a 3D printer.!  
  • 11. This is a MakerBot Replicator 2, and for now, it retails for about $2000. The long-term goal is to get one of these into every household in the US. ! At that price tag which is a reflection of the emerging nature of the market, the Replicator 2 lies in the rarity layer, again with utilitybased value and therefore perceptionbased value as inherent characteristics.  
  • 12. $2000 is a lot to ask for a piece of household equipment, but MakerBot can ask it, and many of us are willing to pay for it because it’s an emerging technology. ! ! It’s a piece of machinery that is incredibly hard to replicate, and in addition, it grants the user added capabilities. !
  • 13. Value can cascade over time. Now that we have all three layers, the last bit of theory is that value can cascade from layer to layer over a long enough time horizon. For example, the four-function calculator was introduced in 1961 at $1000, which is especially expensive if you consider inflation. Today, no one would dream of paying more than a few dollars for a simple calculator. The technology became more common over the years, and the market for simple calculators matured as the technology moved from rare and valuable to common and commoditized.!
  • 14. How does this translate to planning?  
  • 15. How does this translate to planning? Three-pronged issue. We need to revitalize   value of the strategy and planning as it relates to clients, creatives, and account people.!  
  • 16. Clients don’t want to pay for it.*  
  • 17. Clients don’t want to pay for it.* Perception issue The first problem is that clients don’t want to play for it. This is an issue of perception. To them, a handbag is a handbag. Work is work, period. They see the additional time and resources that go into strategy as a luxury.! !    
  • 18. Clients don’t want to pay for it.* *Unless it creates tangible return.   As strategists, we need to look at our work in the same way the client does, as an investment.! Clients won’t want to pay for it unless planning can provide a tangible return in some form or another.  
  • 19. Creatives don’t always value it.*  
  • 20. Creatives don’t always value it.* Utility issue  
  • 21. Creatives don’t always value it.* *Unless it elevates the creative plane.   In its purest form, planning should provide creatives with a valuable tool for creation. As planners, our insights should bring creatives to a solution they could not have reached without the insight we’ve provided. So to bring true value, our strategy must elevate the creative plane and serve a distinct purpose for the creative team.!
  • 22. Account people try to substitute for it.*  
  • 23. Account people try to substitute for it.* Rarity issue  
  • 24. Account people try to substitute for it.* *Unless it can’t be replicated.   And at the deepest level of value, planners should be striving to unearth insights that cannot be replicated.  
  • 25. Tangible ROI + Creative Elevation + Irreplaceability  
  • 26. Tangible ROI + Creative Elevation + Irreplaceability DEPTH.   So now that we truly understand the problem, we can talk about a solution. And when you add up a tangible ROI, creative elevation, and irreplaceability, the solution that emerges is depth.!  !
  • 27. Tangible ROI + Creative Elevation + Irreplaceability DEPTH.   Depth can mean a lot of things, but I’m specifically talking about not being afraid to dive head first down the rabbit hole. ! ! I’m talking about making connections that are parallel but not necessarily obvious. ! ! That ecosystems can be incredible predictors of market trends. ! ! That car thieves know a thing or two about automotive interior design. ! ! That prostitutes have the purest brand perception regarding luxury cars because their livelihoods depend on it. !  ! It’s not about understanding the user, it’s about becoming the user and adopting his or her mindset.!  
  • 28. In conclusion, just remember:!  !   Value is layered. Value can cascade. Strategy that breaches the rarity frontier will create the most value.  
  • 29. Please tweet questions or comments to @AlxBrands I’d love to chat.  
  • 30. *Thank You