At the heart of a great marketing story is usually a “single-minded proposition”, or SMP. The SMP sums up the most important thing you can say about the brand or product. It ignites creative briefs and serves as a rally cry for marketing communication.
Most single-minded propositions resemble a peace treaty more than a rally cry however. Marketers cram in every benefit that fits, leading to 80-word run-on sentences. Often the SMP is political, with different members of the brand team lobbying for different features. The easiest solution is just to tack them together with commas, semicolons, and “ands”.
The best single-minded proposition I’ve ever seen came with the original launch of the iPod. The SMP is not the same as a tagline, but in this case it’s both. When every other MP3 player at the time was talking about memory, price point, compatibility, interoperability, and a million other benefits at once, the iPod simply boasted, “1,000 songs in your pocket”.
The longer the SMP, the weaker the ideas that will result. The more we have to say in marketing, the less that people will listen. Deciding what not to communicate is more important than what to communicate. Great marketing starts with great editing.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away one signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. I’ll pick one comment. Thanks!)