I was reading The Piano Shop on The Left Bank when I came across the following phrase, attributed to piano virtuoso György Sebök:

“There is no such thing as a music note by note just as there is no such thing as a book word by word. We have to accept that things are ambiguous.”

Author Thad Carhart continued, “Is there any more fundamental lesson that we must learn as we mature? As my friend had told me, he might have been talking about all of life, not just music.”

I think Sebök’s quote, and the author’s follow up comment, could just as easily be describing your brand value. Just as a full symphony cannot be described or enjoyed by individual notes nor a book be read and understood by individual words, your brand does not make its impact on the world solely by your logo, your masthead, your website, your Twitter posts, nor your business cards.

Instead, it is the totality of your messaging strategy, operational efficiency, customer service, company values, and all the other components that comprise the moments you interact with your clients that tell the world who you are and why you matter to them.

pianoThe strength of these promises can be compared to trust.

They take years to build, seconds to destroy, and forever to fix. Of course, in today’s day and age, with so many new and old companies jockeying for position and so many new technologies replacing legacy ones, companies that falter don’t often get a second chance to demonstrate their advantages.

If it’s true that you never get a second chance at a first impression, then why not put your best foot forward right from the start? Why not hire the best and the brightest to guide your way? Why not spend the time, money, and effort it takes to build your brand so that it will not only inform your potential customers about why they should do business with you but will also establish your primacy in their consciousness?

My father used to carry an old fortune cookie fortune that said, “There’s never time to do it right, but always time to do it over.” As profound as that message was, today it’s an outdated adage that no longer rings true. Instead, a more modern fortune would read, “If there’s not time to do it right, there won’t be time to do it over.

Because never before has your customer had so many choices to replace the products or services you provide.

Never before has your customer had so many ways to save money and pay less than you’re currently charging them.

And never before has your customer held control of your brand in their hands, when a universally read tweet, Yelp review, Trip Advisor update, Facebook post or another social media comment can tell all the world of the good – or the bad – you delivered.

A negative comment can be sent and read almost instantly. Worse, those comments will live on the Internet where they will forever pop up with a quick Google search right from your potential customers’ handheld digital devices.

Never before has your commitment to be high quality, high service, highly ethical, value-oriented provider been more important to build your business or to build your brand. Because, as Sebök said, “There is no such thing as a music note by note just as there is no such thing as a book word by word.