Top 7 Components Of A "Strategy Theme Sheet"
By Wild Bill Montgomery
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A "Strategy Theme Sheet" is a self-made worksheet document which helps you identify the basis and theme of your advertising upon which you expect consumers to purchase your product in preference to your competition. The "Strategy Theme Sheet" deals directly with your advertising copy. The majority of the content of a "Strategy Theme Sheet" comes from the product and the consumer demand for which the product was designed.
The Strategy Sheet is made up of seven subjects:
- Objective - Your advertising objective will start out with "My advertising will..." Of course, your advertising will perform some kind of function so you need an action verb next. Some common verbs used are "convince", "persuade", and "communicate". "Remind" could be another verb used. For example "Have you had your Wheaties today?" would be a reminder objective. I prefer using the "convince objective". It demonstrates confidence and the use of persuasion, something that occurs inside the consumer's mind.
- Target Consumer - This is more than a simple statement of demographics. Women ages 18 to 45 may be correct, but "Working Mothers, 18 to 45" or "Homemakers 18-45" may be an even better description. Focus your efforts and advertising copy on that specific group. Write out several different phrases describing your target consumer in fine detail. Remember, your talking about a real person here.
- Product Benefit(s) - Simply put, this spotlights the features and benefits of the product itself. Cost and quality are your major players when describing your product benefits. Note: Price + Quality = Value!
- Consumer Benefit(s) - These benefits are the reflection of how the product affects the consumer's life. These make the consumer's life or task at hand easier, faster or more desirable. It's how you "make the consumer believe" your product's unique advantages for them and their life. Note: Use Product Benefits or Consumer Benefits, not both.
- Support - One major part of your support statement is how you show, prove, vindicate or corroborate evidence to support your claims about your product. Support is also the reason you provide the product and consumer benefit(s) you're claiming. Many advertising strategies fail because they failed to support the claims of the product and consumer benefits.
- Product Wishes - Product Wishes should describe an "almost instant" gratification, effect or good feeling that your product will offer. It's short, direct and to the point. Product Opportunity is the stereotype of advertising. An example would be "Get our product and be the King of Your Castle". Now, we know there are few monarchs in the home and, more often than not, it would be the "Queen", but it's a feeling no matter how ridiculous that this guy will be the King of his Castle if he would only buy this product.
- Product History - I would have to say that the best way to describe the meaning of "Product History" is "heritage" of the product. Maybe your product has been around forever. In this case, you would say why your product has been around that long. Your product may be brand new. In this case, you would describe the descendents of your product and how and why it progressed to your product. Note: Use either "Product History" or "Product Wishes", but not both, and do not confuse "Product Wishes" with "Product Benefit(s)". Product Wishes and Product History are a style of advertising, not a list of benefits.
Ok, now make yourself a list of these headings. Then, start by focusing on one subject. Give each subject plenty of thought. This is not something you sit down and do in ten minutes. You may have thoughts about a subject at anytime for days. Give yourself a week with the Theme Sheet and every time you have a thought about your product, list on your theme sheet. A week later, sit down, take the best from your list, and start writing your advertising campaign. Save the list. This way, you can refer back to it, add to it and use it again.
"Take yourself to the top baby!"
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Article Submitted On: March 10, 2000