The “We’ve-Always-Done-It-This-Way” Trap

If you ever run into obstacles affecting change with your brand, here’s a quick argument why people around you should listen up.


Businesses often do “what’s worked.”


That’s a good practice, as long as it continues to work. Unfortunately, companies often recognize much too late that “what we’ve always done” isn’t working as it had in the past. This is generally accompanied by that “strong resistance to change” phenomenon seen in larger corporations or bureaucratic businesses.

Look at Starbucks and you’ll see this as a key factor to their business contraction. They caught on much too slowly to see the changing trends, needs and desires of their customers. If it can happen to coffee powerhouse Starbucks, what makes us think we are immune?

And while smaller companies can be much more agile and fluid, they’ll fall into this trap unless they are keenly observant, quick to evaluate and take action.


It goes like this
We’ve always made our product this way, or delivered it that way. That works well for 2, 4, 5, or 10 years. All of a sudden, it doesn’t work.

What happened? The needs, desires, trends and “basic instincts” have changed. All of a sudden (but more commonly, slowly—under the radar—over a protracted period of time), customers need something different.

Now if their needs have changed (and your business model, its way of doing business or the manner in which you deliver your product hasn’t), you will be out of sync and unless you respond quickly, out of business.


When it was working, it was WORKING. If it isn’t now, it is time for some RAPID (spelled F-A-S-T) assessment to figure how to become relevant again. Here some key questions to ask yourself:

  • Is our brand meaningful?
  • Does our brand connect to our customer?
  • Has our brand lost its way with how life is today?
  • Has the competition muddied up the field?
  • Are our customers now confused about what our brand stands for?

Insanity isn’t good for business
Insanity has been described as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

The above outlines how to become sane (and relevant and profitable) again.


David Brier, Chief Gravity Defyer at DBD International, is
the recipient of over 300 industry awards creating brands for such
company’s as Estee Lauder, Revlon, New York City Ballet, Legacy
Chocolates, Sunbelt Software and many more.

Award-winning and
result-driven examples can be seen at and a side-by-side comparison of
before-and after-client identites can be seen at

Want one the country’s leading designers of identites and more? His talent can be yours. Contact

About the author

Brand identity expert, veteran designer, author, speaker and Fast Company expert blogger. Shark Tank investor and CEO of fashion brand Fubu, Daymond John states, "David Brier is brilliant with branding." He’s been written about in, INC and Fortune Small Business. In addition to being a branding specialist and a Fast Company expert blogger, David's Slideshare presentations on branding have exceeded the 500,000 view milestone (a founding member of Slideshare's Half-a-Million Views Club) and is the 1st place winner in the 2013 Shorty Awards (known industry-wide as “The Oscars for Social Media”) for branding