Building a great brand is never once-and-done. It’s more than a name, logo and graphics. It’s a frame of mind — an experience — with a narrative that stays relevant and makes its audience part of the story.

Brand Building begins on a foundation of who you are, what you offer and why it matters to your audience. It’s shaped by how you connect emotionally with your customers, distinguish your business and, ultimately, deliver on your promise. It’s sustained by consistency, thought-leadership and calculated effort. And, when done right, it adds equity to your business.

But, a great brand is also a story that’s never completely told. Like building a personal relationship, you need to know your audience, understand their needs and always be there for them. You have to be creative and agile. That means listening to your customers and possessing the humility to question your own decisions.

The well-managed brand adapts to evolving markets without compromising the identity or diluting itself. If you can’t quickly respond to change in a beneficial way, perhaps you’ve dug in too deep or haven’t been paying enough attention.

To maintain a healthy brand, continually engage your customers and make them part of the story. Always watch your competitors for ways to distinguish yourself from them. Follow industry thought leaders and add to the narrative. Be willing to accept change and adapt to it. Stay out of your own way and allow the chapters of your story to unfold.

And your brand might just live happily ever after.

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