Three Buckets of Brand Planning

Given that I haven't posted since the beginning of the semester, I can't believe that it's almost the end. It's so scary but exciting to know that very soon my college career will be ending.

This semester I've had the opportunity to intern at Hill Holliday, and it's been a great learning experience. I think it is so important to find a company whose culture fits your own values. Everyone that I've met so far at Hill are talented and nice people who are willing to have a conversation with you if you take the initiative to ask! But there is one specific story I took away that stuck and I keep going back to my moleskin to read. It is the three buckets of brand planning.

There are three things that a brand/account planner must be in order to succeed. (For background on what a brand planner does -- read this GREAT piece of work by Mark Pollard.) With most things in life, they are a simple three: be a sponge, a filter, and a megaphone. 

A brand planner must be immersed in culture and trends. I think one of the reasons why I'm drawn to planning is that a prerequisite to the job is to be curious, to question, and to expose yourself to different environments. To be able to draw inspiration from your everyday life and apply them to your job is something that most people don't have the privilege to do.

When you act as a sponge, you will be inundated with a ton of information. To be successful, a planner must be able to know how to filter. Understand the idea and derive consumer insights from all the noise. Hone in on what the human truth is and be able to tell a story that connects the brand with the consumer.

What is a great idea if not heard or understood? A brand planner must be able to sell the idea to the creative and account team, and of course, to the client. They must be able to shape the insight in a way that can inspire the creativity juices to flow.

Hope that was helpful and informative! Enjoy the very last month of 2012.