The Time It Takes to Build a Brand

Newer brands are more newsworthy. This is great for PR.

But conflictingly it takes “10 years to build a brand”. This comes from two sources. And of course there is a creative tension between these objectives.

  1. News is by definition bringing you NEW information. Hence news. So it is more likely the paper will write a story about the somewhat controversial Dr. Sketchy’s than it is the Art and Social establishment that hosts it and has been around for 10 years! New is just cooler in America. Young is better than old. Etc.
    1. “While a new brand name is a liability in an advertising program, it’s an asset in a PR program. A new brand name tells the media that the product or service is new and different. Exactly what the media wants to write and talk about.”- pg 257 Ries and Rise in The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR
  2. Brands on the other hand take “10 years” to form in the mind of the consumer (Positioning, but these quotes are from “Rise of PR”)
    1. “The real barrier is the human mind. It normally takes decades to build a brand because it takes decades to penetrate the gray matter in between your ears.” – Pg 224
    2. “Successful brands get into the mind slowly. A blurb in a magazine. A mention in a newspaper. A comment from a friend. A display in a retail store. After a slow publicity buildup, people become convinced that they have known about the brand forever. – pg 228

The way I phrase it is an amalgamation of sources and comes out as

"it takes 10 years to form a brand in the mind of the consumer."

This is a depressing statistics for a marketer. But for every Google, there is a Wal-Mart that took decades to get off the ground, or Nike that took decades to get off the ground. Or the slow moving Red Bull that took forever to enter the US market but everyone thinks just appeared.

Wal-Mart,  Nike and Red Bull are the tortoises. It is helpful to remember that when building your brand strategy.