A brief that’s left me scratching my head
Right now I’m working on a pitch where the proposition on the brief isn’t very clear. To be honest, I’m shaking my head in disbelief because I know it should be. It has to be. But this one isn’t. It’s one of those ‘all things to all men’ type of briefs and because of this, the ideas I’m having aren’t really hitting the mark.
What I need is a proper proposition. The kind that would put the tech brand I’m working on head and shoulders above the competition and do my job for me.
Hang on. There’s a great example right there. “You get rid of dandruff.” It hasn’t changed since 1952. From a single-minded point-of-view it’s perfect – simple, memorable and truthful.
Of course, the product has evolved since then and the science has too. Off the top of my head I can remember that conditioners have been added, it smells good, it’s available in menthol and a range of sizes. I’m sure there are more. But the one thing that’s stuck in my mind is it gets rid of dandruff.
However, in the world of B2B, where everything changes every day, and the number of stakeholders on any project could match the number of hairs on my head, I imagine Head and Shoulders would be a different brand completely.
For a start, there would be the constant need to reinvent, re-position, re-name and re-target the brand to a new audience every quarter. A single message would be replaced by three or four; the brand would be rinsed for every drop of real, perceived or imagined value; messages would overlap each other, offers become blurred and before long, customers would stop believing in the product simply because it’s trying too hard to do too many things.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this – it takes real courage to stand by your brand and continually build on a single truth that everyone believes. That’s why it’s so important to spend more time scratching our heads to get the thinking right now. Because, if we don’t, we’ll spend a lot more time scratching our arses and asking what went wrong further down the line.