Biz Growth Series

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  • J: There are invisible rivers of emotion that course through individuals and groups that create unspoken needs that drive product & service choices. Becoming aware of them provides a competitive edge and allows you to create road maps into hidden futures. Deep drive analysis always starts with yourself … observing your inner processes at work, cultivating an understanding of the nuances the govern your own motivation and behavior. From these intimations you can develop hypotheses and link them to exploratory research techniques like spectrum analysis or projection exercises.
  • While there’s allot going on in this slide … as there is in most middle to large company marketing operations … there is a way to cut through all the clutter to focus on what is important from a brand positioning perspective. A case study of what Nike went through to gain clarity about it’s messaging will be presented.


  • 1. Brand Development Tools For Mapping the Gap         Between Current position and Future Potential Prepared for: SMULE By Jerome Conlon
  • 2. Brand Planning’s Focus Business Transformation & Growth I have used a wide spectrum of techniques in brand planning positions at Nike, Starbucks, NBC, Internap and with multi-year or extended consulting engagements at Full Sail University, Earth Restoration Industries, and a dozen other clients. The planning tools presented are a sample from my toolkit that have proven useful and effective in generating double and triple digit growth for these clients. These tools working in concert (combined with team engagement processes) make-up a unique brand planning toolkit for unlocking business growth potential. The tools may be used individually or in combination, depending upon the nature of the issues, challenges or opportunity your business faces. The tools are named here but not explained in detail. These tools are designed to free up and channel the native instincts, intelligence, intuition, imagination and creativity of any companies creative workers by connecting them more meaningfully with consumer insights and deep marketplace or category drives.
  • 3. Brand Planning Tools Overview
    • Brand Planning Vs. Marketing Planning, Distinctions
    • Touch Points Audit
    • Brand Assessment: How to calibrate your Brand History, Position & Potential.
    • Developing a Category Potential Perspective
    • The Power of the Dream State
    • Communications Impact Analysis
    • Generating Consumer Insights
    • Internal Circuit Testing
    • The Power of Focus
    • 10) Unconventional SWOT Analysis.
    • 11) Comprehensive Gap Analysis
    • 12) From Insight to Action - Brand Initiatives Development
  • 4. Brand Development & Planning
    • Brand Planning is a distinct planning process concerned with tangible & intangible value creation for the entire company. This process is new to many businesses, while it includes marketing it also takes a more holistic perspective than just product positioning or marketing / sales campaigns.
    • The brand planning process is the concern of appointed brand guardians who meet periodically to move the business & brand growth agenda forward.
    • When branding strategy is linked to accelerated planning tools and a brand initiatives process the transformational effect on the business is accelerated.
    • The planning steps involve all key players within the organization, sharpening the instincts, intuition, imagination, native intelligence and creativity of the entire organization.
  • 5. Harnessing Touch Points The space between a company and its consumers is not empty. It’s full of touch points that form customer impressions and brand image. A touch point is any point of contact with a customer that influences and shapes brand experience and image. Any touch point can become critical if it turns into a differentiator or an irritant. A touch point audit assesses the hidden energy behind your brands touch points to understand how to shape them in more appealing ways.
  • 6. The Big Dig: A Brand Archeological Dig
    • The Big Dig is a brand orientation tool. In it the passion / values & core beliefs driving your brand character will be examined and defined.
    • A Big Dig looks at multiple perspectives. It defines the internal leaders beliefs and what senior management wants consumers to believe about the company and the brand.
    • Internal self assessment is contrasted with External Perspectives on brand meaning, position & potential
    • The Big Dig is a comprehensive first step in identifying the GAP between the current state of the business and it’s potential. It is designed to produce accelerated growth ideas in the form of brand initiatives.
    Core Issues Discovery includes: Brand DNA Definition.
  • 7. Clark/Conlon - Deep Drives What feelings drive brand & product choices Resonant Positioning Themes in the category Role in Life, Consumer Language, Imagery Location of the Sticky or Mythic Threads leading to …     Unique, strong & favorable Touch Points Category Context Analysis Uncovers the Interior Landscape driving the category
  • 8. The Power Of Dream States
    • What is the Dream State? The Dream state is an ideal usage moment when the product or service experience is “As Good As It Gets”
    • We use projection techniques to create a rich and textured understanding of potential Dream States.
    • Dream States can be compared with current internal & external brand positions for meaningful gaps.
    • Understanding how Dream States can turn future consumers on … provides important stretch goals for any business.
  • 9. Advertising Sweet Spot - Review
    • The sweet spot on a baseball bat or golf club is a place where if the ball is hit - it will sail farther, faster and with less effort than if it is hit anywhere else. Advertising and marketing campaigns also have a “sweet spot.” If your communication is sourced from the sweet spot it will generate extraordinary business results.
    • A special kind of communications review can provide you with a tool and an exercise for evaluating how your advertising is really working with target consumers.
    • Using this technique over time to refine your messages, images and business narratives has been proven to produce powerful business results.
  • 10. Getting Inside Your Consumers Head Traditional research very often misses the heart of the matter. It is the heart and feelings more than the logical left brain that drive human motives and behavior. The area of research most often overlooked by companies is the interior landscape of consumers – i.e. their world of perceptions, beliefs, feelings, and motives that underlie and precede shifts in behavior. Yet there are very few research companies that use empathy & imagination in concert with deep insight into the interactive field.
  • 11. Consumer Insight Development
    • Personal Self Assessment - Sensitivity Training in Being a Consumer
    • 2) Understanding Deep Qualitative Work ( Why its important, How its different)
    • 3) Research Philosophy & Approach for best results
    • 4) How To Harness the Power of Group Dynamics
    • 5) Moderating Techniques
    • Working With Creative Material
    • Analysis: The Quest for Meaning
    • Framing Project Briefs for best results.
    • 9) Brand Strength Monitoring & the Internet.
  • 12. Circuit Testing Many bigger businesses spend millions annually in market research to limit the risk associated with launching new products, packaging or communications. While external validation is an important part of concept refinement and risk reduction there are fast and cheap internal confirmation approaches such as circuit testing. With Circuit Testing a script or stimulus can be used to drive a process of informal internal reviews. Fast, easy research techniques that probe emotional response should be a part of any fast moving business toolkit. It enables rapid prototyping and iteration of new products or communication ideas.
  • 13. DNA: Authentic Athletic Performance Running Lightweight Injury Protection Air Cusioning Stability Super Star Athletes Basketball / Michael Jordan Tennis / McEnroe Swears by them Comfort The Beatles / Revolution Air Max Just Do It Positioning Themes Classic Shoes become Collectibles Visible Air The Power of Focus versus Fragmentation in Positioning A case study in how Nike channeled & focused its diversity. Materials & Design Innovation Cross Training / Bo Jackson Footwear Jimmy Connors wears w/o a Contract in US Open while signed to another brand. Alternative Sports Olympics #1 in Comp- etitive Sports TV Ads 1 2 3
    • Legend:
    • Brand DNA
    • Product Field
    • Cultural Field
    Performance Edge Today involved in 700 Fields of Play
  • 14. Unconventional SWOT Analysis AHEAD EQUAL BEHIND CRITICAL IMPORTANT NECESSARY COMMUNICATION Impact BRAND Strength PRODUCT Value WEBSITE Engagement Compared to the Best in the Category SWOT = Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats Analysis Every business needs to learn how to employ a tool that can holistically assess competitiveness in areas of known & hidden drivers. This planning tool is helpful to quickly and easily evaluate how hard your marketing mix elements and hidden energy drivers are driving to differentiate your brand. The value of working with this tool is it empowers you to shift your perspective, scanning the market environment in a new way, which results in unique consumer insights to keep your business ahead of the pack .
  • 15. Crossing the Gap There is often a gap between the current state of the business and its future potential. A clear understanding of the gap is needed to cross the chasm to achieve your potential. Brand Gap Analysis compares insights related to internal beliefs, current positioning & category potential to define the nature of the gap. We then work through concept generation processes to shape these insights to create brand initiatives that deliver on key goals & metrics.
  • 16. From Insight To Action Collaboration & The Power of Proto-types
    Not all Hollywood movies are hits, but very few are bombs. They’re usually saved from that ignominious fate by the use of scripts, storyboards, proto-types, briefs, drafts & mock-ups. Pitches Treatments Scripts Pilots Storyboards Scene Run Downs Creative Briefs Mock-Ups Advertising Mock-Ups Final Concepts Learning the math of brand communications and creative collaboration can be nothing less than magic for producing break-thru product and brand communication ideas and for reducing business risk. These are examples of creative studio techniques for quickly evaluating any kind of concept prior to a launch. If the creative briefing process is staged and inspirational … it sets you on brand development path with far greater perspective.
  • 17. For Lifestyle Brands - Where is the Energy Sourced? As information & intelligence becomes the domain of computers, society will place more value on the one human ability that cannot be automated: EMOTION. Imagination, myth, ritual, design and music – all elements in the language of emotion – affect how we work with others and what we buy. Lifestyle Brands will thrive on the basis of the product stories & myths they create. Lifestyle Brands are concerned with finding attractor energy patterns and weaving higher level harmonics around these patterns in the products, services and messages they create. The Ting, served as the source for nourishment, culture and community activities in ancient China & Greece. It was one of the first decorated artifacts of early civilizations.
  • 18. Brand Development Service
    • Jerome’s focus is helping businesses and brands to transform their passion into prosperity. He can put multi-million dollar business transformation processes and tools in your hands to help you acclerate your growth plans.
            • Jerome has directed over $60 million in consumer research projects across a dozen industries working with companies big and small. He directed Nike’s Marketing Insights & Brand Planning during ten years of 800% growth. He was Vice President of Brand and Marketing Planning for Starbucks Coffee Company, Sr. VP of Marketing and Program Development for NBC Entertainment, and has been a professor of economics.
    • An experienced keynote speaker, Jerome likes to share brand growth stories derived from years of trial and error and provides perspectives and proven strategies that transcend any single product or service category. Because of his father’s blindness, Jerome never took his sight for granted and was driven to see how the real world works, finding hidden patterns. A life long student of metaphor, myth and meaning across business, cultural, ethnic and religious traditions, he believes the essence of creativity is being able to see invisible connections between things that have never before been connected. Jerome now uses his cross-disciplinary knowledge to advise and empower businesses of all sizes to achieve their growth potential