I’m working hard to own the title of ‘Strategic Planner’. I already do so for Made Monarchs as well as my fashion label Maison Parvenu but I would like to really learn how this is successful in the real world.
( If I’ve lost anyone: an account planner is the person who researches, analyzes, and finds the best solution to connect a company closer to it’s customers from the truths they find in their research)
I was reading a blog by Mark Pollard and he gave his simple approach to account planning:
1. Find the real problem and state it succinctly, interestingly
2. Find a deep human insight – hit a nerve
3. Find what’s truly unique and motivating about the brand/product (one thing can suffice)
4. Link the insight and brand/product truth to a simple strategy statement
5. Try to flip the perspective on the issue/brand/product/person with your core strategic idea
6. Don’t feel you need to do it alone
Now I know this list of of direction’s doesn’t make sense so let me attach it to something more tangible you may equate to:
@Curran_J has done what many young fashion type internet personalities wish to achieve, and that’s to become a valued opinion on the scene while making their passion a career. (3,700 twitter followers, Speaking engagements and national press including GQ, BET, and a new streetwear label selling out.)
So how does he achieve this over the 100,000 other bloggers, socialites, and designers out there? I think it’s because he (knowingly or unknowingly) did some strategic planning for his brand and then his ventures:
1. Find the real problem:
Limited attention to a New Fashion sub-culture
- I messaged him and asked what’s the problem he looks to impact. But I’m sure he is busy so I’m going to infer the opposite of his purpose posted on his site: “ encourage respect for men by calling them something more uplifting and inspiring to show their life quality.” So his problem may be that there is a void of respect, piece, humbleness, and positive attitude in the young
black male fashion community which has usually been dominated by Alpha male, Mr. Cool, I’m the Shit personas. So he has found his problem.
2. Find a deep human insight:
Some young guys want to be refined, and gentlemanly
- An insight is an unspoken truth that a planner finds about the subject at hand for example I only have one or two female friends on Google+ and stats have shown that Google+ is majority men, and Pintrest is majority women.
So KRT definitely looked to find what deep truth existed in relation to his problem which I believe to be: there is a black youth that cares about nobility, refinement and being seen more than heard, rather than a boisterous “I’ll take yo bitch attitude” .
This notion is uncovered when we stand back and look at the sky rocketing success and popularity of “Black Dandyism” (google it), Brooklyn Circus, Street Etiquette, and similar gentlemen focused brands. Something is clearly true and spreading about their approach that didn’t exist much before.
No one called a meeting for these young men to change the way the walked, talked and approached life (and fashion) in one day, it grew from the empty space. And KRT is one of the people to notice those guys.
3. Find what’s unique about the brand/product:
Simple, Accessible, Trendy
- Now that the young dandy gentlemen is hot right now we see a bow tie on every neck and a leather bag on every shoulder. How can a brand stand out from this? Well KRT took a different approach, while every other entity was making high priced, highly exclusive, complex products he produced a line of simple street wear garments, fairly priced, and highly accessible with a simple message of “I am a King” (said in different artistic ways). This simplicity and separation from the pack has grown in popularity quickly.
4. Link the Insight and Product truth to a simple strategy statement:
To gain this by doing that
- After you find out your problem, you want to come up with Objectives. KRT’s objectives are to: “turn [his] blog into an online clothing store and mentoring program, to fill the void of support for our young men in the world“. From realizing your objectives you have to come up with a SIMPLE Strategy statement to reach that goal/objective: His could have possibly been:
To gain a following and clientele for KRT
By connecting and highlighting the like minded people in this sub-culture.
5. Flip the perspective:
As the viewer/customer I want to belong to this
- Now the plans have been made from the business owner’s point of view but try your BEST to stand back and look at all this from the other end. Luckily for Curran J he was easily able to do this because he started as a person in that target group rather than a person on the outside looking in.
- I want a website to see people that look like me, and dress the way I aspire to dress, while also talking about things I can’t easily find on google – CHECK
- I want to live this in real life and go to some parties and shows – CHECK
- I want to wear and rep. something fresh and identifiable by other cool people - CHECK
6. Don’t feel you need to do it alone:
- If you get through this list and things haven’t been successful clock work like KRT don’t feel you can’t talk strategy with those around you. See if your ideas about the scene are true to others.See if your problem is really what you defined at first. You may have to be honest and state the problem as ” I want to be famous” or “Make lots of profit“, there is nothing wrong if you don’t have the same causes as brands like KRT. You just have to know the truth so that your planning works for you. Never build a brand on non-truths.
I hope this has been helpful and eye opening for those out there trying to grow brands and companies. Thanks to KRT for being my current example!
Follow me @DarrenNesbitt, maybe we can talk about some strategic planning with what ever it is you do. . .