For those who haven’t seen that AMC reality show, it centers on two competing ad agencies who have a few days to develop a pitch for a desired new prospect. After a couple of brainstorming sessions, one of the creatives will invariably arrive at the BIG IDEA—usually in the form of a tagline or visual concept—and then it’s off to the races as they whip up shiny graphics and plan clever social media campaigns.
If the task is to develop a TV-friendly pitch for a big consumer brand in three days, this process makes a certain amount of sense. But what about the small and mid-size businesses that are fighting to create visibility and need to build a brand strategy from scratch? As a marketing strategist that works with SMBs, I can attest that often the “big idea” that ends up helping businesses grow comes in the form of a “small” breakthrough such as a better thought process or an opportunity analysis—not a tagline.