Branding Is Forward Motion

Success = Investment + Refinement + Drive

Do not watch the clock. Do what it does. Keep going.
— Sam Levenson

I am often asked what is the single most important investment a company can make towards marketing and branding. People with limited resources, time constraints, budgets or otherwise want to know what is the minimum they can do to get by. And every single time I am left a little stymied. Because if you’re forced to choose just one thing to focus on, there’s a lot of pressure to make it perfect. And perfect is hard - because even if we did something great that worked right now, today... that same thing wouldn’t work in a month, or three months, or a year. Sometimes we try to skirt the harsh truth that there is no one thing with answers about the importance of a brand style guide but I’m going to be honest with you: those are really cop outs.

Because the answer is there isn’t anything.

Or, more accurately, there isn’t any one thing. There simply isn’t.

As much as I want to be able to give you a simple answer to a question that I know you’re wanting to hear, I’m going to tell you what you need to hear: branding is a process that never stops. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not five years from now.

The moment you stop working on building and then refining, refining, refining your brand -- your business slowly starts to die.

Think of it this way: you’d never water a houseplant just once, put gas in your car just one time (we wish, right?) or cut your hair once and consider it good forever. Hello, shaggy mess.

The only real answer here is that the strongest brands never stop working on and refining their marketing message. They never stop refining and honing their branding, changing it up where appropriate to keep things fresh. That’s because no matter whatever business you think you’re in, you’re really in the business of building your brand. And because we know that the reason you got into business probably wasn’t for this reason, we’re here to swoop in as your marketing-department-in-shining-armor! So that you can get back to doing what you do best and leave the ongoing, never-ending, always moving forward motion of brand building to the pros.

Kristine Neil