5 Levels of a Company’s Existence

If you are a business, you more than likely fall into one of the following categories or at least somewhere in between. How do you stack up?


1 – Shallow Floaters

You have your service or product, and you simply exist. You depend solely on your product or service to drive sales and growth. You barely have a logo, zero brand presence and probably no purpose beyond making money. More than likely you think of your business as a means to an end and do not gain any real joy or happiness from it.

Pitfall:  Burnout, customers move on to someone with a better-looking brand, you are unhappy

Money Spent on Branding: Probably $0
2 – Lip Stick on a Pig

You have a nice logo, and people love your product or service. But if someone were to ask why you exist, you might not have a clue. What are your values? And you have no idea. You might look good, but you are shallow. You have put an Elsa Band-Aid on a hairy mole. You look great on the outside but are a mess on the inside. This form of existence is inauthentic, and people will catch on.

Pitfall:  You have no system, you flounder, you are inconsistent and never know what you should be doing to drive sales and growth

Money Spent on Branding:  Maybe $500 – 10,000
3 – Living on the Edge

People love you, but you can’t put your finger on why. You’ve done just enough branding and marketing to get by but lack a consistent message. You still flounder with what you should be doing in the marketing department. You are tempted by trends because you want to stay current but stay exhausted by having no clear direction on what to do, thus often ignoring what you need to be doing all together. You are living on the edge of greatness and failure.

Pitfall:  You still have no system and you flounder. You have something great, but you just don’t know why.

Money Spent on Branding:  Maybe $5,000 – $100,000
4 – Super Savvy

You have a beautiful brand. You understand your customers, and you give them what they want. You speak eloquently and appear to the world as the epitome of success. You have a mission, and you have values. You have killer marketing campaigns, and by all accounts, you seem to have it figured out. But you lack devotion to a solid purpose. And because of this, you are open to adjusting to what your company is all about and taking risks. Sounds like a good thing, right? Maybe not. You try a new marketing strategy and it bombs. Why? The answer is because you have moved away from you promised your customers and from what makes your company stand out above the rest. From what customers gain by choosing you over someone else. You are no longer you. You were not loyal to your purpose. And what about your employees? Maybe you have a great product, but internally people are miserable. Well, it’s only a matter of time before consumers are on to you and are turned off by your lack of honesty. You are not practicing what you preach. You are inauthentic.

Pitfall:  A giant waste of time and money

Money Spent on Branding:  Maybe $100,000 -$1,000,000+
5 – The Living Brand

You are a company that knows why they exist, why they matter, what you can do for others, and then actively proves you mean what you say. You connect with not only consumers and clients on a deeper level, but employees as well. You have a “divine truth” and use it and the values that support it, as guardrails. You value having a healthy internal culture and understand it’s importance. And above all, you remain steadfastly loyal to your purpose. Your marketing is natural and even enjoyable. You always know what to say, who to say it to, and when to say it. Your employees embrace your values, and it becomes a part of who they are as well. You become more than a product or service. You become a way of life. You begin to satisfy the needs of others in ways they are not even aware. You become a living and breathing entity from which people draw meaning, satisfaction and joy.

The Pitfall? Can’t think of one.

Money Spent:  This is something you can do yourself, but sometimes it’s better with help, and every penny is a penny well spent.
So… how do you stack up?

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