Being there means your brand cares.

By Michael Mark, Creative Director/CEO @ NYCA

A client looked me in the eyes this week and told me, “Michael, it’s better to be fast and wrong than slow and right.”

I think it was directional in nature. Still, it was quite a statement. It’s conceding that the speed needed to move at in today’s business environment is reaching a pace of acceptable recklessness.

Woody Allen said something like, “99 percent of success in life is showing up.” Not sure if it’s exactly how he said it, but you get the point: you don’t have to be perfect, just raise your hand and be counted all the time. That’s harder these days as there are so many places to be.

Reminds me of how my mother forced me to go to kindergarten even when I was absolutely dying from excruciating, intolerable, at-the-doors-of-death-pain with a tummy-ache. I didn’t do much schoolwork that day but the important part (to my mom and teacher – you can say, my customers) was that I was marked present. And being there, even physically wounded, counted more than being fully mentally present.

Today’s marketing environment is a great deal about brands being here and there. And these days, with the proliferation of .coms, social sites, applications, and meet-ups, there are so many more parties where one needs to be seen that you could well show up underdressed. What’s a brand to do?

The perfectionist’s motto, “measure twice, cut once,” has become: “cut, oops, cut better, oops, cut, repeat constantly, just keep cutting.”

Why such a rush? Is it worth it? Our successful customer is saying “Yes.” Because consumers have a seemingly all day and night hunger for content and they demand to be served promptly and frequently with constant feedback and the occasional coupon.

Like any close and good relationship, brands and consumers don’t get caught up in the small stuff. Mistakes are overlooked and, because we do move so fast, they are forgotten in a matter of several tweets.

Are we saying that quality isn’t as important as quantity? This makes me queasy but I think so. Quantity is taking precedence because touching all those touch points means you’re there for me in all these places, all the time, and the sum is: you care.

Now, of course, some mistakes are more grievous than others. Be sensible as you speed along, but keep that speedometer pressing on the red as we head to another party at which to be seen.

When he protested that Macintosh wasn’t ready yet to launch, Guy Kawasaki was assured by Steve Jobs, “Don’t worry, be crappy.” They launched and they made it better on the run. Quite a run it’s been.

So here’s the dress code: even if slightly untucked here and there, make sure your brand shows up. Often.

In other words, “Get your business out of bed and get out there right this instant or else!”

Just like momma said.

4 Responses to Being there means your brand cares.

  1. jerry says:

    Yeah, true. But unlike those awkward dreams we’ve all had–you don’t want to find yourself at school not wearing any pants.

  2. jerry says:

    In other words, neither ‘fast and wrong’ nor ‘slow and right’ are viable options.
    A false choice, really.

    Today’s climate demands fast and right. Period.

    Evolution’s a tough taskmaster.

  3. michael says:

    Thanks Jerry,
    Lately I am coming to see that ‘right’ has more than one side – wow I’m so mature. I see your point, fast and right and that is always the preferred way to go. I’m seeing is right equals being close and consistent vs. precise at the cost of distant. Social media breeds this; families breed this (along with kids). Mistakes will happen at such speed, no doubt. The little ones that would set me and you off are now overlooked, forgiven, followed by another point of contact, a branded hug. Seems right.

  4. jerry says:

    Absolutely agree, Michael. Perfect shouldn’t be enemy of the good. Swift response in social media is paramount and further challenges us with demands of both speed and accuracy.

    As you astutely sighted Woody’s assertion, “90% of life is just showing up.”

    Hopefully, it’s with pants on.

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