Companies often started locally or regionally, developed loyal customers and built a market identity—supplemented by print or electronic advertising as brands grew. In addition to taking a long time, brand building also took a great deal of money.
Flash forward to today: Though it’s still possible to build a brand using those traditional ways, doing it all at once, digitally, is now much more common. Certainly, building a brand still costs. But the outlay in time is a fraction of what it used to be. It’s now actually possible to build a national brand in days or weeks instead of years.
At the same time, the new digital foundations of branding present real challenges for brands, the companies behind them and the managers hired to oversee and nurture them. Today, what can be built in days can be destroyed in hours.