Fire Takes Fuel

Airplane on a runway from behind.

If you’ve taken as many flights as we have, you know when your plane is about to take off. You can hear the engines straining. You can feel the enormous thrust it takes to accelerate. Yet, if you look out the window, you still haven’t left the ground.

This is sort of how brand building works. Like planes, brands burn more fuel in the takeoff process than at any other time. It takes a little time and a lot of effort for you to get rolling, let alone get things airborne.

Most people budget millions to build their product or their stores. Intelligent ones remember to budget for an opening push. But they’re often tempted to back off just as they’re getting up to speed. Brand awareness is not like a spigot, where the minute you turn your advertising on, business flows. The process takes time.

The nice thing is, once the plane is cruising at 500 miles an hour, you can back off the throttle a bit. You can pulse your messaging. You can reduce spending to maintenance levels. But like a jet engine in flight, you never want to turn the engine off.

This is hard advice to follow at times. In tough market conditions, everyone’s first instinct is to abandon long-term marketing plans. And while the truth is that a mature brand can remain aloft for a time without fueling additional interest, it’s also true that it takes a lot of energy to regain altitude once it’s been lost.

Our best advice: Fire up the marketing engine and stay the course.