Here’s one way to look at your branding efforts. Think about them like bank accounts.

Imagine that you setup 3 types of accounts:

Checking: This is strictly for your sales promotional activities. In-store specials, promotional advertising, email blasts. All of these activities are deposits into this account. Every time you make a sale, consider that a withdrawal. The more you put in, the more can be withdrawn. But if you only deposit into this account, you’re limited because you can’t overdraw.

Savings: Deposits into this account include your overall branding efforts. Advertising, event sponsorships, content marketing, social media. This is for your longer term goals beyond one-off sales. You’re building the total net worth of your brand. You can dip into this account as you get more sales. You don’t have to rely solely on your sales promotions. And the great thing about this account is that it earns interest! The more you put in, the more you can accumulate over time. The downside is that it is slightly harder to access. You don’t immediately have access to what you put in. It’s there, it just takes longer to get.

401K: This account represents everything you do to build your corporate culture. Your company’s mission, the values you instill in your employees, your customer service policies. You don’t have immediate access to any of it. But it provides the most returns over time. And when the account is vested, after your brand has become fully established to your customers and employees, it will provide a solid base from which to draw.

Similar to your personal banking, depositing everything into a single account is not a good plan for your finances. If you put everything into checking, you can’t accumulate interest. Put everything into savings and you make a little interest but it’s not easily accessible. If everything is in your 401K, you don’t have access to any of it for a long time.

You need a balanced approach. But if you plan well, you’ll be able to build long term wealth for your brand.