Launching a brand is not too difficult. Style, promotion, even gimmicky marketing will give a brand an initial shot in the arm. Its ascent may be meteoric, but cultivating a reputation takes time.
"A brand is the sum of all the perceived functional and emotional aspects of the product or service"
-Dr.Simeon Mellalieu, GM of Public Relations & Marketing agency Ketchum in Hong Kong.
Reputation is even more intangible and permeates through all ares of business, from investors relations to social responsibility.
Establishing a brand reputation demands consistent delivery on the brand promise. The brand promise doesn't have to be terribly complex, but it has to be believable and sustainable. It takes at least three to five years to develop a brand that resonates strongly with customers. It takes time to nurture the body and soul of brands. There is no shortcuts. The relationship with the individual customer is the result of dozens, if not hundreds, of interactions.
Great brands maintain every touch-point with extreme precision, creating a relationship of trust with their consumers over time. The brands that have emerged largely intact after the recent economic slowdown were already at its onset. Strong brands recogonise opportunities for building even stronger ties with consumer's during recession. That mindset is why they have more solid reputations to begin with. A brand can never assume that its reputation today will carry it forward into the future.
Research shows that a less than 1 in 200 chance that a leader will still be one 20 years later. Thats because many focus well in the present and fail to reinvent themselves for future environments.