Branding is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Updated: Jun 18, 2019
It can be frustrating for business owners or personal brands to feel as if they're getting nowhere when it comes to their brand. "People don't know what we/I do", "No one knows me yet", "Our business barely has any followers, engagement, recognition, etc." Although cliché, Rome truly wasn't built in a day – and neither were any notable brands.
When speaking about business and entrepreneurship, notable personable brand Gary Vaynerchuk says:
"Micro speed, macro patience."
This principle ought to be applied to Branding as a whole. Branding is about doing everything you can—every day—to build a favourable impression, perception, and reputation. On this note, seizing every opportunity and utilizing every touchpoint on a consistent, day-to-day basis might not make a significant difference in the short-term— but, in the long-term—it makes all the difference. Brands that stand the test of time had stood the test of time while they were being built.
Take Gary Vaynerchuk, for example. For years, Gary posted vlogs to his former YouTube channel (WineLibraryTV), and for years, Gary was relatively obscure – "no one" knew who he was or what he was about. It wasn't until growing his family's wine business from $3 million/year to $60 million/year and launching his successful GaryVee YouTube channel that his personal brand really took off. Now, at almost 2 million YouTube subscribers, Gary preaches the importance of day-to-day hustle backed by long-term patience.
Originally named "Thefacebook", the household name currently known as "Facebook" certainly didn't start out so popular and commonplace. Mark Zuckerberg admits that the idea behind Facebook was simply to connect college students with each other. Over time, as Facebook slowly started to catch on, Mark Zuckerberg's ambition grew. Launching Facebook as a real business and taking on Angel Investment helped propel Facebook to other schools. Then, as Facebook grew in certain cities, other cities took notice. Naturally, other states took notice, then other countries, then other continents— and ultimately—the world. You'll notice, though, that Facebook didn't start as a global platform. Instead, it grew into one. One school at a time, one city at a time, one state at a time, and so on. The story of Facebook's success teaches a great lesson that even multi-billion dollar companies must prove themselves on a smaller, local scale first—with patience in mind.
A Person's Favourite Brand(s)
A person likely has a collection of their favourite brands. However cherished these brands may be, the fact of the matter is: each brand was at one point unknown to said person. What's notable is that although these brands were unknown, they still existed. Likely in their infancy stage prior to being known by many, brands must make tremendous efforts to reach their customers. After all, if customers don't even know about a brand, how can they purchase it or spread the word?
For example, a person's beloved brands in 2019 may have very well been in existence since the 1990s – yet not well-known until decades later. Persistence really is key. This is often why people will dub a certain person or business as an "overnight success". People are aware of and attracted to success, but likely pay no mind to the less glamorous "building years" of obscurity and brand-building efforts.
Amazon is a good example. Did Amazon start by selling virtually everything? No. Did Jeff Bezos begin as the richest man in the world? Of course not. It was through Jeff Bezos' diligent efforts—beginning in 1994—and patience as a whole that allowed Amazon to become a household name and Bezos to build his fortune.
Business—and brand-building—takes patience. It's important to be active rather than passive, though. Businesses and people that focus on daily brand-building activities while being mindful of five, ten, and twenty-year visions are likely to reign supreme. ▲