The Hidden Cost of Waiting
When I was 12 years old, I attended my first school dance. I was a little shy back then. There was a very pretty girl that I wanted to dance with, and it took me all the courage I could gather to approach her and eventually ask her. When I finally psyched myself up to do so, the gym lights turned on, the music turned off, and it was time to leave.
The dance was over, and I missed my opportunity.
The missed opportunity was a consequence of waiting.
In business, there is a cost associated with every decision that is made. But there is also a cost – sometimes quite high – for every decision you fail to make. When it comes to B2B branding and marketing, mistakes that occur due to waiting include:
Waiting … to rebrand
It is not uncommon for B2Bs to need to revisit their brand and retool to better reflect the company’s current value proposition, offerings, and expertise. Though a full rebranding initiative can seem like an overwhelming and complicated process, brand redevelopment comes in many forms: brand elevation, revitalization, reorganization, etc. It’s not necessarily an “all or nothing” proposition. Working with a professional branding expert can help your B2B identify the right approach needed based on the brand scenario to yield the greatest potential to benefit your organization right now. This allows your company to begin making positive steps forward rather than waiting to start what would seem to be a larger and lengthier process sometime in the future. By waiting, how many “opportunities” might you be missing out on?
Waiting … to finish a new website
The typical B2B website often grows organically, which sometimes leads to a complex production of many sections, sub-sections, and landing pages. Though this sounds great in theory, the reality is that this can make it difficult for visitors to navigate. It also doesn’t take long until these sites are filled with outdated information, making the company and its offerings appear less relevant.
If you wait to rewrite and reorganize all of your online content before launching a new site, it may be out of date before it ever goes live. A careful analysis of content and navigation will help your B2B identify the most – and least – useful areas of the site. By focusing on the most relevant sections first (usually found in the site’s top levels) you can roll out updates and enhancements as soon as they are finalized. This will help your company modernize its online presence, drive growth and optimize SEO effectiveness. Again, an incremental approach vs. an “all or nothing” approach can yield new selling opportunities and value in both the short- and long-term.
Waiting … until a deliverable is “perfect”
The reality is, you won’t know if a product or deliverable is truly “perfect” until it is out the door and in the hands of your customers. By waiting until you think it’s absolutely perfect, you may miss the chance to establish your company as the industry leader with the optimal product or solution. But is it risky to launch? Not when it’s done correctly. If you have done your due diligence and found that your deliverable or product is 1) functioning well and 2) has great potential for your business and customers, it is time to make the move! Keep in mind that some retooling may be necessary, however, that can be addressed in the next iteration.
Whenever I am hesitant to make an important business decision for my brand, I often reflect on the “40/70 Rule” often cited by former Secretary of State Colin Powell. This principle advocates making critical decisions once you have between 40-70 percent of the information needed. If you wait any longer to make the call or launch the initiative, you risk missing a competitive advantage or golden opportunity. I have followed this rule for years and have seen how it has helped my business grow, evolve, and remain relevant in a competitive industry. The same can be true for your B2B.
In other words: Don’t Wait!
Sometimes, waiting to launch is a symptom that the b2b brand’s leadership are stuck on an issue, and that issue is often tied to the brand image, message, or value proposition. If you find yourself stuck (or waiting), give me a call. We’ll get your brand moving (and growing) in short order. I promise.