“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” -- John Kenneth Galbraith Companies often the question the need to conduct a formal brand development process for their business. It’s viewed as a bunch of marketing mumbo jumbo. A worthless report from a consultant, talking about personality traits and what kind of car would your company be. And honestly, sometimes it is. But the fact remains, once your brand is established in a person’s mind, it is extremely difficult to change it. And it doesn’t take much to make a lasting impression. A sidewards glance into your store. Seeing one of your ads. Your logo on a sponsorship banner. An employee’s reaction to a question. People make instant judgments about your brand with very little information. However, it often takes a huge effort to change a person’s brand image of you (and thus a lot of money) after that initial experience. After you make your first impression, they have already decided how they feel about you. They have positioned your brand against others. They have determined whether you’re worth paying attention to or not. It’s like a cruise line rolling into port. Once the direction is set, it takes an enormous amount of energy to turn it around. As our attention gets filled with the non-stop deluge of information and entertainment, it necessitates that we make quicker decisions in forming our perceptions. And we have less energy and desire to change our minds once they’re set. The greatest value to brand development is it clearly defines who you are and what your have to offer, so you can control (to some extent) how people perceive you, from the very beginning, rather than spending a bunch of money to change their perceptions later. It’s up to you.