Time… It is the quintessential gift that is accorded to each and every one of us and the only thing, apart from life, that is not replaceable. Despite knowing how important time is, many opt to put off what is pertinent till a later time. This habitually ‘apathetic acceptance of procrastination’ is some sort of twisted paradox as what should be highlighted in ‘the now’ is shafted and shifted to a later date.
Ironically, to a brand, the most important thing is also time. A brand that has endured, survived and outlasted the rest is said to be TIMEless. It is the ultimate recognition that can be accorded to any brand. Alas, a brand that is out of TIME is also deemed have been forgotten in TIME…
Life and time are irrevocably intertwined. So too are brand longevity and time. The lifeline of a brand is determined not by one, but by many factors. But the most important of them all, that which blesses a brand name, trademark or personality with enduring quality, is BRANDING. So will you waste any more time by asking ‘When Is the Opportune Time to Brand?’ or just get right to it?
A common question that might haunt our minds is: “Am I ready for branding?” That is in fact the case because of the common assumption that branding involves advertising and marketing (or any endeavour of the ‘famed’ and popular sort).
How Can I/the Brand/the Company Start Branding Right Away?
Like anything else which transpires in business and the business of life, there are many levels at which branding can happen. The most important question to ask yourself is how would you like your brand to be perceived? Perception, like it or not, is the pulse of any brand. Once you have determined the core (or essence) of your brand, and how you would like it to be communicated and remembered, next you need to figure out the magnitude and radius of said branding. It really pays to start small and keep any and all efforts as close as possible to the core of the brand.
Consider the following analogy… An elegant vessel is seen docked by a port. Its sails dance majestically to the untamed tunes of the wind and it rocks gently with each kiss of the passing waves by the waterfront. In spite of all said splendor, one sublimely poised for adventure, the vessel does not sail anywhere… Not because there is no wind or water, but because it is anchored and tied up firmly to the pier. There are no shipmates to operate it, or a captain to steer it on course to conquer the seven seas. Hence, it would seem from this simple example that infrastructure, though impressive and fascinating, is nothing more than an empty vessel that will go nowhere without the right people operating it; thereby lacking direction or the right mantra within, as opposed to the external aspect of things.
In this light, the same fate awaits mega branding initiatives which are devoid the simplest spirit of the brand at its very nucleus. Always remember what is more important: Focus on branding via what is closest to you before embarking upon any further branding expansion initiatives.
Regardless of how big a tree gets, when you look at a cross section of its trunk, you will see that its inner rings, those closest to its core, are constants, well formed and most deeply ingrained. For brands, the people within the organization have similar bearing per said rings. The growth of a brand will not be possible without any support of an intrinsic sense.
So to tackle the bull by its horns, the people, i.e. the ‘touch points’ of the brand, ought to be the originators of branding within a brand itself, continuously branding, ever aligned with what the brand aspires to convey. Something as simple as a warm and welcoming smile speaks volumes in terms of branding when applied in the branding context. As brands deal with people in their order of business, basic etiquette beats expensive and extensive advertising anytime simply because advertising leaves impressions on the mind, but an effortless ‘Thank you’, a warm gesture or even a positive response to an email can leave ultra-deep impressions in the soil of the heart…generating everlasting branding.
With this in mind, as your branding drive progresses; that is when you couple incremental or varying degrees of branding with everyday routines from the grassroots level, your brand will grow organically, with roots that run wide and deep, and inadvertently, branding of the eternal sort begins to transpire from the inside out.
We always think of branding tomorrow, but when tomorrow comes, we have lost the branding traction that we could have initiated today. So have a better today – start branding right away and reap the rewards tomorrow (if you hadn’t already begun yesterday)!