Consumers seem to have become increasingly indifferent. Maybe that’s because loyalty has eroded.  All after, one could say that husbands and wives aren’t as loyal to each other anymore. Or girlfriends and boyfriends. Nor are we as loyal to our places of worship. Never mind our circle of friends. In short, relative to these rather important things in life, it’s no wonder that brand loyalty is eroding too. 

So, never has it been more important for people to buy our brand next time they go shopping. And buy into our brand for sustained sales and enhanced equity. 

The heavy hitters, the P&G’s and Unilever’s of the world are doing whatever it takes to make their brands matter a whole lot more. They’re demanding that agencies rethink their business models. So, SILOS are falling and falling fast. Further, handpicked players chosen from units across a holding company are now being brought together. Even talent from across holding companies are meant to come together in “people first” teams. Big smiles around the table maybe. But I wonder what’s said when they leave the room. More importantly I’d love to know how many Chief Concepts actually get created using these new, improved working models. Innovative, imaginative, inventive, ingenious creators were, are and will always be proudly individualistic or is that egotistical.  Apple was created by an egotistical genius. But Apple's chief brand concept was created by a tight team. As were the creative campaigns that were propelled by this brand concept. Today the company has cracked the $ 1 trillion dollar mark. If you think that "traditional creative" hasn't played a mega role. Think different.

Let me come down from the stratosphere. The engine of the campaign train is the brand idea. I call it the “Chief Concept” because brand ideas tend to get confused with big ideas. Big ideas are mostly executional. Brand ideas build brands over the long haul.  Campaigns must be anchored for long life. Chief Concepts are created to do that.  

Chief Concepts must be built on solid rock. We create them by combining a marketplace truth with a human truth with a brand truth. Jimi Hendrix was wrong when he said: “the truth is straight ahead”. It is found deep down. Got to mine it like those perspiring Zulus do to extract gold on the Witwatersrand, on the fringe of Johannesburg; my long - lost home town.  But then the truth must be distilled to an essence. That’s the 10% inspiration part. Because by definition, it must be true and compelling and of a long - lasting nature. As such, a marketplace truth or a human truth or a brand truth is often an end in and of itself. But when the three truths are triangulated magic sauce is made: the chief concept. 

Let me stick my neck out and give you an example. 

Marketplace Truth:

There’s a gap in the market for a long lasting [fresh breath good tasting] chewing gum

multiplied by

Human Truth:

Our mouths are our most important social connectors yet our intimate body part

multiplied by

 Brand Truth:

Keeps you ready for any eventuality


Chief Concept:

Mouth magic at a moment’s notice

Here now are a few other Chief Concepts we’ve created:

Express Delivery

Your name in good hands

[Ridged ] Potato Chip

The unflat chip because your life is not flat

Motor Oil

Life is better without friction


To be the morning of your life


The break that breaks new ground

Department Store

True luxury is inside [me + it]

Lingerie Boutique

Soul Wear for Every Mood for Every Woman inside One Woman

So bringing it down to persuasive communication 101: chief concept leads to slogan which anchors all the work which is evaluated for buy | buy in.

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