You Want It When?!


This cartoon with the four figures laughing hysterically above the caption, “You Want It When?!” is ubiquitous. Over the years, I have seen it tacked up in print shops, college bursar offices, car repair garages, copy centers, you name it. It is also, of course, a favorite of many a graphic designer.

And I am in one of those weeks where this cartoon seems to be the theme of my life. As all these “crisis” emails come in from clients, making a kerfuffle (what a great word!) of my carefully laid plans to complete other bigger projects, I am struck yet again of how a strong branding program can help in situations like these.

An organization that lives its brand—practices its values, acts according to its principles, pursues its ideal client, positions itself strongly and strategically and never strays from that position, and uses its brand as its guiding light—that organization is much better equipped to handle the occasional crisis. It may still be stressful to accomplish what needs to be done in a short period of time, but the guidance of a strong brand will help the solution to be a relatively simple one. If you have a clear image of what your organization is, you’ll know just as clearly what your organization should do to solve those sticky situations that pop up from time to time.

That, and planning. Planning is good, too….

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