Everyone wants a quick fix. Everyone. If you asked someone whether they’d rather achieve their goal tomorrow or in a month, they’re going to say tomorrow. The thought that shortcuts exist holds such appeal that I think it is possible that is what kept the weight-loss supplement market thriving all of these years.

Well, I’m here to ruin the fun. Shortcuts don’t exist. Success doesn’t happen overnight, no matter how many times it appears like it does.

Some consultants will try to sell you quick fixes. They will load your Twitter and Facebook accounts with fake followers to make you look popular, or they will tell you that buying an expensive online tool will do all the work for you.

The biggest lie I think they tell, is that they will build you a shiny new brand for your company. I believe in the power of marketing and communications, obviously, or I wouldn’t write a blog about it. These are however, one of the problems I have with the business. Branding, advertising, marketing…they all can make a company successful IF the building blocks of the brand already exist. There’s a quote from Anne Petry that always stands out to me about this concept: “A man hasn’t got a corner on virtue just because his shoes are shined.” Or how about, Keith Anderson’s song The Clothes don’t make the Man? Making a company look good through marketing or branding is like dressing up a man in a suit and shiny shoes. If the man has business sense then the suit will amplify it, if he doesn’t that suit isn’t going to help. If there’s nothing behind your brand, then dressing it up won’t help. No brand consultant can give you success if your company is not built upon some unique service, character, and belief.

Crappy ideas that fuel crappy companies won’t survive by branding, no matter what consultants tell you. Marketing is not the end all, be all. Good, glad we cleared that up.