Slow & Mindful Branding
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. — Henry David Thoreau
The slow movement is nothing new and its do it well instead of fast philosophy has permeated dozens of industries from food and fashion to education and travel.
However, if you Google “slow branding” or even “slow marketing”, the meager, outdated results make it clear that the application of the concept to these critical business functions never got the same traction.
Under pressure from investors, boards, competitors, and the media, brands are in a mad dash to make money, drive traffic, and get social followers but have forgotten the art of cultivating a loving and loyal community.
From MVP to growth hacking to going viral, the tools and terminology we use to build businesses are all about scaling quick and garnering celebrity status. As a result, half-baked, low-quality products are rapidly released into markets already oversaturated with subpar offerings.
Customer relationships are fickle and unreliable and measured by the number of Instagram likes instead of the impact on quality of life. The idea of iconic brands that have legacy and longevity seems almost obsolete given the number of one-hit startup wonders. A media darling gushed over in Fast Company last year may not even exist this year, and no one cares because no one remembers.
I’m not advocating moving at a glacial pace but at an appropriate speed. Trade in vanity metrics and get rich quick schemes in the short-term in order to build a brand that you and your consumers will fall in love with over the long-term. Instead of just tactics and transactions, create solid strategies and enjoy the process of creating and crafting vs. just fixating on end goals.
Don’t be afraid to take the time to think, get theoretical, and have intellectually-stimulating discussions about your brand.
My personal slow branding principles are 3-fold: priority, quality, loyalty. Set your priority and spend enough time on it so that it results in a high quality outcome that has the best chance of garnering loyalty.
Nothing guarantees a brand's success. However, being mindful about what you are delivering puts you in the best position to benefit from those serendipitous moments that may take your brand from nothing to something.