Do it Big or Stay in Bed…

So I was reading an article online seeking inspiration for this week’s article. I happened to read on:
“The middle of the road is where the white line is and that’s the worst place to drive.” – Robert Frost
Quoting this famous poet was David Sable in his “Weekly Ramble.” In it David goes on to say that this quote “fits [his] overall philosophy of ‘Do it Big or Stay in Bed – it took me doing 30 [years] twice to get it” he said at his 60th birthday celebration.
Inspired? Well, I was. So powerful did I find Robert Frost’s quote I have actively sought opportunities to use the quote in conversation. There I was at KFC the other day.  She said,  “Streetwise or Twister”.  I said,  “the middle of the road is where the white line is and that’s the worst place to drive.” She said,  “ijo, lekgowa ga le na madi” (heish, this white boy has no money).
Now, I have a lot of time for David as he just seems to have an unquenchable thirst for literature, something that in my early advancing years I find myself suddenly under pressure to do. I suddenly want to learn new things, see new things and do new things while my brain is still running on all its cylinders. If I only had this clarity of thought 20 years ago! I would have gone big proper! However, in my twenties I spent a huge amount of time in bed,  mostly recovering from hangovers and late nights at Oasis Motel or 585. I was having quite a ball celebrating life and having a blast. I achieved very little really in terms of personal growth during that time. This brings me to another quote I read the other day;
“Why do you spend so much time partying and drinking when you have nothing to celebrate….?” Anon
Yes, yes I know a little harsh. But on the whole, true right? As young people we tend to figure we have so much time ahead of us. The older we get, the reality that every moment is important starts to set in. Every time we get out of bed we should aim to “Go Big!”
A brand is really no different, save perhaps for the fact that the great majority live their lives backwards. That is, at the start of their life, we see big advertising spend, huge billboards and Point of Sale that you cannot ignore. Later in life we see peeling posters and bleaching billboards that have not been changed in years. The older the brand becomes, the more that fire and energy begins to dull.
Of course this is not true of the truly great brands. If you want to know how to do it, you only have to look at Mercedes Benz. Every time they have a new car launch we all cannot help but pay attention.Their energy to keep their brand on top of its game clearly demonstrates a brand that knows which side of the road to be on. In fact all the major vehicle brands seem to be able to get this right. This is primarily due to the requirements to build in a sales element to sell new products ranges. This sales drive tends to pull the brands along.
But what if you do not sell products? Or sold a service that essentially remains the same over time? Like searching for top talent for organizations perhaps?
Well, let me draw your attention to HRMC in Botswana. Have you seen their new look and feel? If not, you need to get out of bed! Here is a brand that for the last 15 years has constantly kept and maintained a fresh and recognizable brand. The inherent elements of their brand have remained essentially unchanged; they have always promised that “It is all about People.” Close your eyes and find HRMC in your mind’s eye. What do you see?…People?If you don’t, you are really driving in the wrong lane. No matter how good their artwork has been, HRMC have stayed real to who they are.They have worked tirelessly from their infancy through to this day where no one doubts that they are a brand that is a leader in their sector.
This brings me back to Mr. Frost, Sable, and the unidentified chap I quoted last. There is a small fraternity of local brands that did not waste their adolescence on wild nights and aimless exploits. Even on our own soil we have truly inspirational brands like HRMC, Debswana and Choppies.
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