Measure twice and cut once

Welcome to 2013.

Playing a bit of email catch-up over the past few days I came across an article from Inc. magazine. While not directly related to the topic of Brand and Promises, it triggered my thinking about today’s topic.

The article was titled “Want to grow fast? Then slow down” and was talking about the pitfalls of trying to grow too fast, too quickly and finding that you end up going backwards not forwards.

The same is true of brand.

When asked what is one of the most necessary things you need to have to build a brand, I always respond – patience.

In the race to build it fast, get lots of hype and buzz going, to “create” something that can hit the ground running, things don’t get fully thought through or they get changed before they can take hold. The end result of both is to slow things down, not speed them up.

So my brand advice to start the year is practise some patience.

Take the time to think through and get clear on the foundation elements like the purpose and values of what you are doing.

Think about the order you are doing things in, does it make sense or are you trying to put the proverbial cart before the horse?

Give things a chance to work before you change them – things take time to take hold and grow.

Don’t try and do or add too many things at once, so you can know what is working and what isn’t.

Ask why. A lot. Why are we doing this like this? Why are we hiring this person not that person? Why are we changing our name and logo? Why are we spending money on this?

It seems there is always time for hindsight and to do things over. Better to stop, count to 10, think about what you’re trying to accomplish and to use an old dressmaking adage – measure twice and cut once.

I look forward to spending time with you all as you build your brands. And as something new this year, I’ll be featuring one SME brand I like every month – because as much as we all like to read about the screw-ups others make, there is lots out there that is being done right and that we can all learn just as much from, so if you’ve got any suggestions tweet them to me @michelhogan and I’m happy to check them out.

See you next week.

Michel is an independent brand advocate dedicated to helping organisations make promises they can keep and keep the promises they make – with a strong, resilient organisation as the result. She also publishes a blog at You can follow Michel on Twitter @michelhogan.


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