I was in Washington for the July Fourth holiday and decided to check out the National Museum of American History. The place was packed, and a lot of the area was under construction. I was surprised because I assumed a history museum wouldn't need to change all that much, yet the place was a beehive of renovation.
Everyone was whining about it, including me. I then overheard a mom talking to her kid: "That's America, Honey. We are always under renovation."
"Yes, of course," I thought to myself.
We are always under renovation as well we should be. We can't sit on our laurels or let things slide because they've already been built. Standing still means falling behind and that's just not American.
It's also not how I've managed my career. Renovation has been a constant as I've adapted the craft of marketing from brand strategy to advertising to promotion to digital to PR to social media -- constantly learning and renovating.
This is true for entrepreneurs. We are all constantly looking for new opportunities to see what we can make of them. And it's true for any brand. We must continually innovate and keep up with pop culture and our customers' needs and wants because they are constantly changing with time.
Take a look at Restoration Hardware, or RH as it is now also branded. The brand started out featuring retro versions of personal and home accessories like nobs and other hardware, then evolved to include complete lines of furniture for all rooms of the house.
Today the brand has expanded even more to become a curator of fine architectural pieces for the home -- a completely different line of products that includes sculptural pieces, functional furniture, and lighting fixtures that fit a particular RH aesthetic. The brand is completely different than it was even a few years ago, evolving from hardware and accessories to an identifiable look and style for the home.
The lesson for entrepreneurs? Don't be afraid to renovate. It might feel annoying at the time, even to your customers. But if you don't constantly keep up, you'll rest yourself into stagnancy. That's not what being an entrepreneur is about.
What ways have you renovated your brand? Tell us in the comments below.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.
Jim Joseph is the North American president of New York-based communications agency Cohn & Wolfe, part of the media company WPP Group PLC. He is the author of three books, including the latest, The Personal Experience Effect (Happy About 2013). Joseph also teaches marketing at New York University and blogs at JimJosephExp.com.