Whenever someone discovers there’s a problem with their business or has a marketing project to tackle, they want it done NOW. They get anxious, excited, and can’t wait to see the solution or finished product. That’s totally normal, and it’s really tempting to want to rush ahead to get to the “good stuff.” But unfortunately, when it comes to marketing and branding (and tons of other things too), it’s a waste of time, money, and effort to start anywhere but the beginning.
Let’s say a patient comes into the emergency room bleeding uncontrollably. The doctor’s first task is to stabilize the patient and take care of his immediate needs. But then, the doctor is going to start trying to figure out why the patient is bleeding and how to fix it so he’s a healthy, functioning man again.
Now, let’s say that bleeding patient is a struggling company. They used to be healthy, but now their loyal customers are coming less and less, they aren’t seeing as many new customers, and they need to figure out why they’re “sick.” It would be helpful to “stop the bleeding” by implementing a temporary solution, but just giving them a short-term band aid isn’t going to solve the long-term problem.
Many companies want to rush to the final solution. They want to skip all the soul searching, research, brand development or strengthening, and strategy, and just jump ahead to execution. Along with all the consequences of rushing, it’s just a waste. We can skip all the conceptual stuff, forget about doing our homework, go full steam ahead, and the end product will still be pretty good. However, it probably won’t be as deep or effective as it could be, and you’ll probably have to redo some of it in the future (or just ditch it completely). It will just be a band aid, when you really needed to get to the root of the problem and find the real cure.
So next time you’re tempted to skip the tough stuff or the things you don’t see much value in, resist the urge and remember to start where it matters—the beginning.