Good buildings are built on solid foundations. For our purposes, I’m going to call these platforms. The first platform we need to build is the creative platform.
This is the big idea that runs throughout the entire brand proposition. It’s more than just a strapline or a logo.
There are also technology, media and marketing platforms, but the creative platform is the most important – it helps define and inform the others.
The problem is that as we’ve become more short-term in our approach and media has fragmented as new technologies have come along, we’ve almost forgotten the value of the big idea – the central importance of the creative platform. Yet this is the best way of getting into someone’s head and delivers the best bang for your buck.
M&C Saatchi talk about “brutal simplicity” – the single, core message that conveys everything you want to convey about your brand and which has the best chance of lodging in people’s heads. In the past they called this the unique selling proposition. Hegarty finessed this to talk about the emotional selling proposition. TBWA talk about “disruption” – what’s different and disruptive about your brand and products.
Whatever you call it, you need it to run consistently through all your messaging – it’s the platform upon which everything else is built. And it needs to be a big idea if it’s going to reach all parts of the sales funnel, from the broad reach stage – advertising, social media, search and PR – right down to the transactional stage.
Remember that 90% of B2B purchasers end up buying from those brands that were known to them at the start of the buying process. If you’re not in the top three at the start, you’re unlikely to get the gig. For many smaller players, that’s quite a depressing thought, which is why we’ve got to think long-term and build a proper creative platform, otherwise you might as well get out of the market altogether.