BrightBox has become accustomed to helping brands who once depended on long-term business models based on stable environments. While we encourage long-term perspective and managed outlook, we have also come to the conclusion that we have no way of knowing the future.

Our acknowledgement of our own inability to see what will happen next has given us great strength. Because we know that a solid brand is one of the only stable requirements in the business world, we have built our business surrounding a concept with great staying power. Branding is one of the only consistent protections against the grand uncertainty that dominates the business landscape.

In other words, branding helps survive black swans.


Black swans are a conception of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who uses the term as a random, unforeseen event (low probability with high magnitude). Because of the hidden risk involved in the business environment, we try to incorporate techniques that help our clients and our own business survive.

Here are just a few of those techniques.


Owning fads is one thing. You want to own the modern incarnation of a trend.
By pinpointing and owning ideas in the mind that are unlikely to go out of style, you set up your brand as an everlasting idea, complete with staying power. When a system collapses, brand longevity is key.


Mechanically hunting for leverage at times when borrowing rates are cheap and paying down debt when rates rise may seem like the only way to grow, but creating cash flow and maintaining intelligent savings is always the best way to do business. Revenue growth is stable, as is saving for the rainy market months. At the same time, spend on the stuff you need. Anything that helps you keep good clients and good employees goes on the top of the list.


One of the big killers of modern business are a lack of incoming ideas. Stagnant companies with never-evolving mission statements, budgets, brands and marketing plans face possible extinction upon running up against unforeseen problems. The conversation surrounding almost every business topic- including ethics, branding, finance, law and communications-should be fluid.


To overcome negative uncertainties, your brand should know how to cope with positive issues as well. If your company does something amazing, your public relations team should kick in and publicize it. Get credit when you earn it and people will remember it when fires break out.


Reputation is flexible because it has staying power. Your word is as good as anything else you do. The way you present your company will serve as your best resource in solving difficult business puzzles because clients, partners, decision-makers and media gatekeepers are more willing to assist those with a good reputation.

Image: Paul:74 via Flickr, CC 2.0