How consistently do you manage your brand? Do you invest heavily in brand development when times are down in order to stay ahead of a tough market? Do you invest heavily when times are good because you have extra capital to spend? When exactly do and should you focus on brand building?

The answer is: always.

A lot of smart companies focus on branding as a way to improve their position when things get tough.  Branding, though, isn't a magic lifeboat for a company.  Waiting until times get hard will give your staff a great incentive for focusing on brand development.  Unfortunately, it also sets the wrong impression in their mind about the importance of a brand.

Other companies will neglect their brand until good fortune and luck put them in a too-strong financial position.  Branding then becomes the business savvy way to burn through excess cash under the guise of smart business practices.  This, too, is hazardous for any company.  Yes, it can bolster the already strong position of the company and yes, it can stabilize stock prices.  But if your company's brand is only well-defined in brief periods of success, the comparably longer periods of distress will be even more taxing on your managers.

Brands are consistently visible whether you make them a priority or not.  What is even more visible, though, is your dedication to your brand.  When you focus on branding initiatives affects the customer experience just as much as the initiatives themselves.  Brands are consistent; branding needs to be consistent as well.

When, if ever, does your company focus on branding?  How much do you think this pattern affects your brand's position in the market?