When engaged in brand strategy, we help clients establish what’s known variously as the big idea, the main idea or the brand promise. It’s the “take away,” the thing you want your customers to remember about your company. It’s not what it says on your home page or brochure cover—the big idea is the message that should be communicated. The big idea should always be expressed in one sentence. If it is any more complicated or lengthy than that, your marketing will suffer. Despite its short length, the big idea should encapsulate everything else in the brand strategy. The big idea, or brand promise, is the one thing that is most likely to make people take notice, form new opinions and take action.
Sometimes the big idea is distilled into to a tagline—something that is often shorter, catchy, and can be put on everything from a business card to an annual report. The tagline is a succinct way to reinforce the big idea, but it is not a substitute for it. In the over-communicated society we live in today, the message of the big idea must be repeated frequently and consistently.