Posted by Brian Klassen
So let me start by saying, we have just experienced a huge, record-breaking snowfall. Old man winter dumped 80 cm (31.5 inches for our U.S. friends) of snow on us in one day and it isn't ending anytime soon.
Now for the lesson.
I was driving to work and my brain was hyper aware of every little detail, trying to make it all the way without landing in a ditch or piled up with other commuters. It was a balancing act of what had already taken place, what was taking place and what could take place.
For example, I knew there was a lot of snow (just finished shovelling my driveway for an hour-and-a-half). Once in my car (no snow tires), I was painfully aware of the lack of traction, which made me think of the many stoplights and hills I needed to navigate in my very near future. So, I needed to develop a plan and here it is:
Slow and steady, maintaining grip and momentum at all times, avoiding dangerous situations if at all possible. This meant trying to time stoplights so I didn't have to stop, as well as staying far enough behind other vehicles (or passing them) who were mistaking their brake peddle for the gas peddle – especially up hills (remember – no grip).
It strikes me that the same approach holds true for building brands. Very rarely are brands launched or grown in ideal conditions. One needs to understand the past and present, projecting into the future with eyes wide open for changing conditions (every little detail counts). The more one practices and participates in such events, the better they are prepared to deal with those situations.
It's like asking a new driver to go out alone in the snowstorm equipped with the set of instructions I have just laid out...something bad is going to happen. (trust me – I have a new driver in the family and a perfect weather day is a challenge to the phrase "a peace that passes all understanding").
So find someone you can trust whose experience is extensive both in branding and the market you want to approach. It will save you some hefty repair bills, and get you there faster than you imagined possible.