No Such Thing As Branding Status Quo

Status quo – the situation where everything remains the same, and nothing changes. Generally assumed in the branding world that once you’ve built your brand awareness, you can just stop. And all the improvement that you’ve achieved so far will remain as is. So there’s literary no reason to continue spending more money to keep boosting your brand awareness anymore… Except, nothing could be farther from the truth…

Graph showing ups and downs. It doesn't stop, and there's no status quo.
You either keep going up or keep going down. There’s no stopping, no keeping still, and no status quo. – Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

If You’re Not Moving Forward, Then You’re Moving Backwards – There Is No Stop, And There Is No Status Quo!

Whether you realise it or not, nothing in the business world stays stagnant. Everything moves. Either it moves forward, or it moves backwards. Nothing stays exactly where it is when you stop. How come?… Well, that’s because everything moves relative to everything else. You don’t run a race, and stop when you’ve decided that you’ve run far enough. Far enough is never enough. Sooner or later, your competitors will catch up to you. Even the slowest tortoise will eventually crawl past you when you stop. Henceforth, there’s no such thing as status quo. Not in a hypothetical race, and definitely not in the business world.

Unfortunately, not many business owners think that way. Many still believe that if they invest enough in advertising and promotion (A&P), their brand will eventually achieve their goal. When it does, they can then stop all A&P activities and expenses, and continue to enjoy their new market position. What they fail to realise is that the finish line isn’t static. It’s always moving forward. So when they believe that they have “achieved” their goal, and stop all A&P activities, they’re essentially sliding backwards. And that’s not even taking into consideration of the competition who’re running in the same race as you are.

Real World Misconception For Real People

We’ve encountered countless situations, when proposing branding exercise to clients. We’d normally propose a branding exercise for XXX amount of money per month, and set the milestone after one year. The milestone isn’t there to mark the end of the journey, but as a reference point to measure progress. The whole idea is to continue the branding exercise, and continue the brand identity growth.

Infographic showing the annual goals to be achieved, objectives to meet. Everything move constantly, nothing stays static. There's no such thing as a status quo.
What are your branding exercise milestones?… Or do you even have one?… – Image by Freepik /

Unfortunately, the vast majority of them simply drop their jaws when they realise that there’s no end to the project. They’re probably assuming that they can allocate a finite budget to build up their brand. And then, what, continue to reap the harvest infinitely?…

What comes next is nothing short of amazing. Most of them are not prepared to go all the way to the year-end milestone, that’s a given. But actually looking for ways to cut down the exercise even shorter?… Why even bother to embark in a branding exercise in the first place then?

Some of the replies that we’ve received when presenting our proposal are nothing short of amazing. Most are unwilling to see the proposed exercise through to their first milestone. That’s not unexpected. But actually asking if we can cut it down to six months, or worse, three months…

You Might As Well Not Start The Branding Exercise In The First Place

You’ll barely see any measurable improvement in a year, let alone anything less than that. That’s a surefire way to “confirm” that we can’t deliver on our promise of raising their brand identity. And that’ll also give them excuse to pull the plug on the exercise, and call us a failure. A failure for not being able to achieve what we had promised…

So in situations like these, we’d simply refuse to take on their business and start the branding exercise. We’d advise them to save their money, since it’ll be as good as flushing it all down the toilet. What’s the use of “investing” into building their brand identity when they’re not invested enough to see it through?

It’s not that we’re too good for your business, or that we’re high and mighty. It’s a matter of resource management and practicality. If there’s even a small chance of it succeeding, then yes, go all out and make it work. But if you already know that it’s headed towards failure, why even bother starting in the first place? If you knew that it’s doomed to fail from the get go. Would you even bother to start?

How Do Successful Brands Remain, Well, Successful?

Take a look at some of today’s most valuable brands in the chart below.

Infographic: The World's Most Valuable Brands 2019 | Statista
You will find more infographics at Statista

Look at the top three contenders, Amazon, Apple and Google. They’ve already achieved what most other companies can only dream of, global brand recognition. You might think that they’ve already hit the gold mine, and can afford to rest on their laurels. But make no mistake, they keep their branding exercise going, even increase it too. Even they don’t believe in status quo. Even they believe in an ever advancing goalpost.

And what if the decide to “take a break”, and stop all their branding exercise? Well, the market has no shortages of competitors, all vying for the same piece of the cake. A small player today may easily overtake the big boys in the future. Of course, there’s no such thing as an over night success either. But it can be done.

There’s No Short Cut To Success, Not Even To Status Quo

We’ve been ingrained as children that there’s no such thing as a short cut to success. Our parents encouraged us to work hard in order to succeed in life. “Study hard, ace your exams, secure a place in a good university, and land a good job offer.” It’s the same with wanting to have your brand widely recognised as a reputable business, or product/service. You need to invest time, effort and money to make it happen. You can’t go in to this race half-hearted, and expect to achieve anything good out of it. Or worse, go all out, but step on the brakes half-way through the race. If that’s your intention, then don’t even bother to start. Don’t waste your time, and don’t waste our time.

Are you determined to see it through? Are you willing to invest time, effort and money to achieve success? It just might work. It’s not a guaranteed success, but the other only option is a guaranteed failure… Remember, there’s no such thing as status quo… If you’re determined to see it all the way through, congratulations. We’d love to help you do just that. Drop us a message, and let’s meet up for a no commitment, casual chat, over a cup of coffee. Remember, your success also means our success too.

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