You're a brand-builder. At this moment, you're wrapped up in where your brand is going, what it's doing, who's looking at it, who's talking about it, how it will change between now and next month…and yet, you're still torn.
Should you be thinking about what you need to accomplish by next month? Or should you worry about what legacy you're going to leave for those who follow? Or should your focus be somewhere in-between?
In the short-term, you need to decide what your next marketing campaign will look like, how you can meet this month's quota, what free gift you'll be offering to new customers, what's next for your branding strategy, what you'll say to the shareholders who may not like what they see…and yet, you can't possibly be making the best decisions. Why? Because you're focussed on the short-term. You're working to simply keep your head above water, so your brand can live to see another day.
Not a great idea.
Let's be honest: you don't want a lifetime filled with more days just like today, do you?
Surely, you will have short-term decisions to make, because every long-term goal is made up of smaller, more immediate goals. However, the best way to make those urgent decisions is to view them through a long-term lens.
By doing so, you will, by default, make the choices that will move you toward your ultimate goal, rather than simply sustain you through another week, month or year…only to find yourself in the same predicament(s).
Are you ready to talk about how you can improve your brand every day, by making short-term decisions that benefit your long-term goals?
Good. Let's get started.
How to Develop a Long-Term Branding Mindset
One of the first things I ask my brand-builders to do is decide where they want to be in five years; and then, in ten years. This is their vision, and it's what will keep them focussed as they make the important decisions that will drive the direction of their brands.
Here are some considerations I suggest you make, as you move toward your long-term branding goals:
- Avoid Putting Profit Ahead of People. If you're so laser-focussed on your bottom line that you're neglecting or mistreating your team members and/or customers, then your long-term dreams cannot be viable. The best investment you can make in your brand is the people you bring into it. Of course, your brand needs profit to survive; however, instead of focussing on the money, focus on the people who are bringing that money into your brand—and you'll automatically produce more of the same.
- Forget About Get-Rich-Quick Tactics. I've never seen a business owner build something fast and furiously, with uber-impressive profits, and maintain a reputation, trustworthiness or a loyal client base. In truth, get-rich-quick schemes cool off as quickly as they heat up, and you're left with nothing to hang your hat on. Focus on doing it right, rather than doing it quickly, to make it last longer.
- Get your Head out of your Past. When you dwell in the short-term, you're making a habit out of living in the past. You see, today and tomorrow are really close to yesterday…which is the day when you made some mistakes that negatively affected your brand. To the contrary, if you make a habit of forgetting about how you're going to feel about today once the sun comes up tomorrow, and instead think about the lifestyle you're going to be living in ten years, then your brand will have no choice but to move forward. Hint: Your brand will move in the direction you 'think' it.' If you're thinking about yesterday, it cannot advance.
- Understand that Trends are Short-Term Traps. Occasionally, you will stumble upon a trend that will benefit your brand in the long-run. However, most of the time, trends become unfashionable before you can fully implement them. Trendy thinking is short-term thinking, and you'll struggle to justify the cost.
- Start Believing that Long-Term Goals are Easier to Achieve. Are you surprised by this statement? The first time I adopted it into my daily thinking, I had just come to the realisation that short-term goals are usually made in states of emergency, when something drastic is needed to change the direction of the brand; whereas long-term goals are calculated and based on common sense. Add this to the fact that you have lots of time to plan for the achievement of long-term goals, and you'll begin to understand what good investments they are.
I would encourage you to keep a vision board and to think regularly about your long-term aspirations—so much that they become staples in your daily thoughts…and eventually, your actions. This can mean the difference between really living and simply staying alive.
Branding isn't a get-rich-quick plan. It is, however, a plan for providing for your long-term goals and the lifestyle you wish to live. Not sure if you're on the right track? Or if your thinking truly is long-term focussed? Then let's schedule a One-Hour Intensive Brand Audit, in which I will analyse what's going on in your brand (along with your goals for it), and then prescribe a plan for moving forward. Simply click here to get yours.