Hey all you business leaders who apologized for your brand identities before you handed me your business cards — maybe it’s time for you to make time for your brand?

I’ll explain.

Attending the National Association for Addiction Treatment Providers’ (NAATP) Leadership Conference earlier this month was a wonderful experience. Another amazing conference and amazing people in attendance. I was fortunate enough to speak to several leaders of treatment centers. Of course, everyone wanted to hear about the new NAATP brand, but often the conversation carried over to their own brands. This transition often took place as they hesitated to hand me their business cards, prefacing it the with an explanation of how old it is or that they weren’t in charge when the brand was established.

Let me say this before I get too far ahead of myself: these are incredible people doing incredible work. They could not be more proud of the work they do, their culture, their staff and their patients. So I spent some serious time after the conference pondering this question: why didn’t that same level of obvious pride exist when they talked about their brands? And what would it take for them to be proud of it?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every leader I spoke with didn’t like their brand. Some were very content, and I was impressed by quite a few. But for those who hesitated, as we talked further they offered up additional explanations about why their brand identity — their logo and tag line — had not be addressed.

Two of the biggest factors I heard over and over were that they did not have the resources or the expertise. They simply didn’t have the time to dedicate to a rebranding project and, even if they did, they don’t know where to start or what path to take. 

I wanted to tell each of them, “there is light at the end of the tunnel! The first step has been taken!  You were able to admit that maybe it’s time to make a change!”  

Maybe it’s time to find the right resources, seek out expertise, and uncover who you truly are as an organization. At the end of the day, your brand is all about who you are, what makes you special, what you do, and what you stand for. Do your branding right and patients and their community will share in the pride you all have for your organizations and the amazing work you do.