The Plan to Win
Brand management is not a marketing concept; it is a business management concept. The McDonald’s Plan to Win was built on this mindset. It could not be a regional initiative. It had to be global: consistent across geography, across time.
The Plan to Win is a business construct that is built on three pillars:
Brand direction—Where do we want to be?
Freedom within a framework—How do we plan to get there and what actions will we take?
Measurable milestones—How will we measure performance?
The Plan to Win is designed to guide brand thinking, the setting of priorities, and the development of a viable and feasible action plan. It is a business concept, crossing functions and geographies and organizational boundaries. It is the most powerful tool in a manager’s toolbox. It affects every aspect of the business. The Plan to Win has four goals at its base:
- Attract more customers.
- Convince customers to purchase more often.
- Increase brand loyalty.
- Become more profitable.
In other words, more customers, more often, more brand loyalty, more profitable; these are the bottom-line goals for brand revitalization.
The Plan to Win is based on a disciplined thought process we call the Eight Ps. The Eight Ps of the Plan to Win represent eight critical areas for brand and business success: Purpose, Promise, People, Product, Place, Price, Promotion, and Performance.
Purpose and Promise define the brand direction. The brand purpose defines the overarching mission of the brand, and the brand promise is the contract with our customers. It is a promise that if you buy this brand, you will get this experience. A brand promise answers the question “what kind of brand experience do we wish to promise and deliver to every customer every time?”
The final P in the Plan to Win is Performance. Performance is the definition of the measurable milestones to assess our progress in brand revitalization.
The Five Action Ps
What are the actions we will take to achieve the measurable milestones? This brings us to the five action Ps: People, Product, Place, Price, and Promotion.
Delivering the brand promise is not determined by good intentions. It is accomplished by the actions we take. The five action Ps define how we plan to achieve the bottom-line goals of more customers, more often, more brand loyalty, and more profit. How we expect to deliver our promise across each of the five action Ps (people, product, place, price, and promotion) is articulated in the Plan to Win.
The details of the Plan to Win are discussed in Chapter 9, “Realizing Global Alignment: Creating a Plan to Win.” The Plan to Win is a brand action blueprint. Adhering to the Plan to Win is critical for building brand revitalization.