Legend has it that if you visit the Facebook corporate headquarters, you'll see a sign painted on the wall.
It says: "Done is better than perfect."
Sounds easy, right? Maybe not. At least, not for a brand manager like you, who has millions of dollars of brand equity on the line.
Many large companies might agree that the idea of getting something out quickly is interesting in theory but risky in practice, per the quote below from Fast Company.
I have no doubt that if you walked into the offices of any Fortune 100 brand you would see no such thing. Their legal, compliance, or human resources departments would insist on it being removed. And yet, had Facebook waited so much as a year to perfect its model, the company might very well be where MySpace is today.
-Martin Lindstrom, author, Buyology
The good news is that there is a shift underway.
The idea of quickly building prototypes to test ideas is growing in popularity. The Stanford d.school has a class that teaches the importance of hands-on learning and rapid prototyping, while innovation powerhouses like IDEO champion the idea as a core operating principle.
For brand marketers, becoming more agile through prototyping offers two major benefits:
- It can help stakeholders confirm the direction that the product or brand is going.
- Cross-functional teams can identify potential pitfalls and limitations early on in the launch cycle.
The real advantage is that a prototype is a small investment you can afford to lose. A prototype’s failure closes the door to undesirable options early on, which is better than investing in a specific path and having the product fail at the final stage. These small “failures” actually lead to the success of a product and help to guide it’s direction.
With marketing becoming increasingly fast-paced, it's important for brands to be responsive. Ultimately, prototyping empowers marketers with more control and flexibility.