you stopped waiting?

What are you waiting for? Too late, you’re already dead.

It happens every day in corporate America. Executives and brand managers alike often wait until it’s too late to strike. Rather than overinvest when things are going well and the competition is vulnerable, most will do the exact opposite, waiting until their own company is struggling to redistribute dollars and resources to marketing. It doesn’t work that way. At points of difficulty, perception wins every time.

When a company is in the midst of a decline, the brand is congruently cold. In many cases, this is the point when people are actually looking down on your brand’s weak social status and want nothing to do with it out of fear of association hurting their own social standing. And yet, executives everywhere suddenly think now is the time to invest in marketing. Wrong. Your time has come and gone.

As a brand executive myself, I have been in this situation on a number of occasions. Each one as maddening as the next. What to me appeared to be an obvious time to pounce on our competition with additional investment, was often countered by the ever-growing bottom line. When companies are doing well, they can become intoxicated by revenue. The goal shifts from long term brand development to short term profit gain. Rather than putting the peddle down, companies take their foot off the gas. And that’s when the competition knocks you on your ass.

Imagine for a moment you’re managing a highly-touted boxer in the middle of a major title fight. From the corner, you see your pupil land a punch that stuns his or her opponent. Legs wobbly, eyes starting to glaze over. What do you tell your fighter to do next? Attack? Or wait for the opponent to compose him or herself and fight back?

You don’t need years of experience managing fighters to know what to do in this situation. It’s common sense. So too is marketing. And yet, common sense rarely prevails.

Attack…before it’s too late.