Doing It Right vs Doing It Now

And understanding when both are appropriate.

February 5, 2020

There are two camps for prioritizing brand elements and how much investment should be given to them:

Doing it Right and Doing it Now.

"Doing it Right" elements can be distinguished by one key characteristic: longevity.

Meaning, they should not change drastically over time because it would diminish their value. Items that come to mind are pieces of the core identity like a name and logo. Without the necessary attention given to them, they easily become lost among competitors or run into issues later. For example, a neglected logo will have difficult placement on varying applications, improper formatting, or general discontent from the owners of a company. Neglected names follow a similar trajectory, as they lose their appeal fast and are difficult to expand. "Do it Right" elements left unattended fall victim to sunk-loss fallacy, working their way deeper and deeper under the skin. Until you finally pull them out and they take pieces with them. Ouch.

"Do it Now" elements can be distinguished by one key characteristic: change.

Meaning, it is expected that at some point these will change because it will increase their value. In the digital age, we have a lot of flexibility to adjust things like a website, social campaigns, email templates, printed marketing collateral, etc. In fact, as technology progresses, it's not even certain whether those mediums will still be relevant. However, it is certain that those elements will change to be better optimized and catered to reflect the brand, or that they will eventually run out of stock and need to be revisited anyway. "Do it Now" elements can start rocky and gradually get better. For example, a website might start out as a single page and move toward a robust, e-commerce site with membership logins, custom CMS platforms, gated content, etc. Change made for the better that adds value rather than detracting from it.

Debating whether or not a brand element needs to be done right or done now?

Ask yourself, "how long do I expect this to stay the same?"

If the answer is, "a long time, hopefully forever," give it the attention it deserves.

If the answer is, "it will have to change eventually," get rolling fast and iterate.

More you say?

The Everything Trap | Software Branding

Save some for later rather than stuffing yourself now.

1.6.2020

In order to create an awesome brand, you have to build something for somebody. More specifically, you have to help this person solve a specific problem. Where software runs in to trouble is when they try to build everything into their first version.

For example, Mailchimp started out as email building software. That's it. They killed it and were then able to expand into new offerings that helped their users solve more problems like direct mail and marketing.

If they'd tried including all of those offerings from the onset, users would have been confused, it would have been extremely difficult to position the brand, and it would have been way harder to get up and running. It's like trying to jump to the top of the staircase when there are ten steps in between. It's a recipe for chipping your teeth and getting your ass kicked by an inanimate object.

The point? Avoid the everything trap.

Everyone -> someone.

Everything -> something.

You can always expand your services, but you never get to make another first impression.

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Target

You might not know everything about your brand, but that's ok.

5.8.2020

If you show up to a gun range with no target, you have zero chance of hitting something worthwhile.

Conversely, even if you can't hit the bullseye every time, a target makes the process exceedingly more enjoyable. You can track progress, you can try new methods, and you will  hit a bullseye at some point.

If you try to build a brand without first defining it, you have zero chance of making something worthwhile.

Conversely, even if you can't be on brand every time, defining it makes the process exceedingly more enjoyable. You can track progress, you can try new methods, and you will be on brand at some point.

Point being, have an aim.

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