Although as marketers, we tend to talk about brands in never-changing absolutes – the reality is that brands evolve. They adapt. They grow. Their roots spread deeper and their ideals reach ever-higher reaching for loftier and more audacious goals – not unlike trees spreading their branches toward sunlight.
Just like trees, brands need to morph, to grow, and to reach. They also have to be somewhat reactive to the world in which they live. Deciduous trees with their broad and relatively fragile leaves drop them in the winter to save the branches from breaking under the weight of snow. But not before putting on a vibrant show and reminding us all that they exist. Then they blend into the landscape waiting, gathering strength, and preparing to dazzle us once again with their vitality in the spring. Imagine how different the deciduous tree‘s life would be if they remained forever enrobed in their broad leaves, never putting on a show with the autumn, never dropping their leaves in the winter, and never re-emerging in the spring. It’s the very act of relating to the seasons that both keeps the trees strong and healthy and causes us to appreciate them even more.
Brands can and so the same. A brand that is steady and constant, like an evergreen, is both rare and wondrous. More often then not, brands should behave more like the deciduous tree. Providing shade for lesser brands and causes, putting on a show in which they are the star, retreating to work on the internal culture and to refine their position, before re-emerging stronger and more vibrant than before to do it all again. All the while, the brand roots are running deeper and deeper, letting the brand get stronger and stronger.
How is your brand positioned? Are you trying to freeze it in time or are you providing a nutrient-rich environment for it to grow. Are you forcing it to carry it’s leaves through the winter or are you allowing it to morph to meet the current climate and conditions. If you allow your brand the space to do the latter, you will end up with a much stronger brand that, while true to what it represents, is also responsive to the environment – and therefore able to weather whatever winter storms comes its way.