Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The long view

Most marketers are more interested in becoming a brand than building a brand. They trot out a new campaign every year hoping that the latest one will finally stick.

Branding doesn't happen overnight.

It's not the result of one great ad, product or charismatic executive.

Brands are built over time. They are the result of meticulous planning, flawless execution and a bit of luck.

I know we all want to get rich quick. We all want the stock market to reward last quarter's performance. We all want a big bonus this year. Unfortunately too often those things happen at the expense of the long-term health of the brand.

That promotion you're planning to reduce inventory will cheapen customers' perceptions of your brand, making it harder for you to charge full-price after it's over. Cutting your R&D budgets so you hit Wall Street's expectations will make it harder for your products to be competitive next year and the year after that. Staffing your front-line sales force with minimum wage temporary workers will ensure your guests have a mediocre experience at best, giving them little incentive to come back.

Every action has a consequence. Focusing on the long-term consequences of our actions is how great brands are built.

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