Decide to Dodge a Brand Breakdown

The New York Times recently featured a video in its “Op-Docs” series, depicting a social experiment that captures how people react to a difficult situation. It’s a great example of what business leaders face every day: How do we navigate the internal conflict associated with risky decisions? Do us a favor and watch just a fragment of the video (the full video is about 16 minutes long, but you can get a sense of it by watching for just a minute or two). Does it evoke any feelings that you’ve experienced before when teetering on a choice?

We understand that for most emerging businesses, there are many unknowns on the horizon – many possibilities, necessities, niceties, initiatives, and hurdles. The ability to prioritize and maximize “unknowns” can be difficult for business leaders who are trying to keep their teams lean and nimble. In these scenarios, a leader’s preoccupation with the “now” tends to supersede a concentration on the “then.” We encounter many business owners and association executives who express the need to focus on branding, ideation, growth, and marketing, but they are often constrained by what’s happening in the moment. It isn’t unusual for us to hear, “Yes. We want to do this now…but we will do it when XYZ happens.”

There will always be XYZ – that is the very nature of business. And business can’t stop when the leadership wants to rethink its products and services, its brand story, its culture, or its future. Operations and visioning must be tackled in parallel. Furthermore, great leaders and brand builders understand that a business should fluctuate organically – changing, evolving, and adapting to the environment.

Companies operating under the mantra of “business as usual” are usually the first to experience a brand breakdown. For some, this can take 50 years. For others, it may happen overnight – but from our experience, the businesses that operate in the slow lane of decision-making are often those left stranded on the side of the road, with their competitors passing by on the expressway to success.

So what? So, make some decisions – whether they are related to branding or not. If you are in a constant state of evaluating your options, you are in a constant state of regress instead of progress. We recognize you won’t win every time. And you won’t always make the “right” decision – but the simple act of making a decision provides momentum and promotes productivity. Most decisions-gone-wrong don’t sink a business; they just leave teams with a learning curve to grow and adapt from.

We don’t want businesses to work with Mekanic “just because”. Not all brands need to be reevaluated, refreshed, or reimagined; far from that. Actually, too many companies – especially consumer brands – are changing just for the sake of changing.

What we do hope is for businesses to recognize when they have reached a critical inflection point in their lifecycle that may influence a decision to assess the impact and relevance of their brand in the market. Examples of such inflection points include:

  1. Leadership Changes
  2. Mergers & Acquisitions
  3. New Products & Services
  4. Plateaued Sales & Revenues
  5. Customer and/or Team Attrition
  6. Market Disruptors
  7. Exponential Growth

These seven inflection points can be the nail in the tire that causes the slow deflation of a business, or they can serve as the fuel to fast track one towards future victories. In the race for relevance, you can’t wait for the perfect time to press the gas; your competition will lap you.

Where is your business in its lifecycle? Are you ready to burn some brand rubber and triumph?

If so, we’re on your team – your reliable pit crew. Let’s do this.