Time - 1In 1964, the Rolling Stones scored a hit with the song “Time is On My Side.” Modern consumers seem obsessed with time. We want everything done faster and better. Forget thirty minute TV dinners — we want our meals microwavable in thirty seconds. We buy products to help slow down the aging process, better manage our daily schedules and generally make everything we do faster and easier.

There’s a lot to be said for slowing down in terms of your bank or credit union’s branding efforts. Branding is a lot of things — who you are, what you do, how you behave, the very essence of your corporate DNA. Branding is also not a lot of things — and one of those things branding is not is “rushable.”

There’s no such thing as superfast delivery when it comes to branding. Authentic branding is the result of months and years of careful planning, execution and evaluation. If your bank or credit union comes into the branding process expecting quick results with a new logo, colors and maybe a revamped script for your front-line staff — expect disappointment.

You cannot fake the branding process and you cannot expedite it. Your staff, from the CEO and board of directors on down to back office and front-line employees, must live the brand, every day, in full view of your target consumers. Branding is also something that must be learned and relearned, every day. How well your bank or credit union performed its branding duties yesterday has no bearing on what happens today. In our digital age of online reviews in social media, your brand can be attacked instantaneously anytime a consumer feels slighted, either right or wrong. As with building the brand, repairing and recovering the brand is also a lengthy and time-consuming process. It’s far better for your people to get it right and keep doing it right than to try to recover after a branding mishap.

When your financial institution enters into the branding process, it makes a significant investment in time, money and energy. As with any relationship worth preserving, branding done correctly demands sufficient time and commitment. Bank and credit union senior management teams that start the branding process with this in mind will make an ally of time rather than an enemy. Let time work to the advantage of your branding plan — not to its detriment.