Long-term brand-building content

Balance 60-40 between long-term brand-building and short-term activation content

Great content is a balance between long-term brand building and short-term brand activation. In recent years, there has been more focus on short-term activation and generating sales. 

This is a logical consequence of the crisis, pandemic, and cost of living crisis. Invest your budget in what immediately generates sales. However, moving forward and the changing economics, now it is time to balance. 


Rule of thumb for content in 2024

Get your brand storytelling with long-term brand-building content in place. Then, follow up with short-term activation content, whether or not with some paid media and targeting. 

According to Les Binet, there is about a 60-40 balance between brand building and brand activation. Brand building takes over as the primary driver of growth from sales activation after six months. 

For more information, I kindly refer you to Les Binet and his work for the IPA. Boldy, I am making the assumption that what goes for the overall communications from a brand, also goes for 'content'. Hence, I embrace their work and love their research. 


Universal rules 

Copy pasted from IPA as they explain this excellently.

According to Binet and Field’s research, there are some universal rules for all brands in all contexts

  • All brands need brand building – the Brand building is the main driver of long-term growth and involves the creation of memory structures that prime consumers to want to choose the brand. Without brand strengthening, growth will be weaker, activation will be weaker, pricing power will not improve, and profitability growth will be severely reduced
  • All brands need sales activation – Sales activation dominates short-term sales uplifts and involves behavioral prompts to encourage consumers to ‘buy now’. It is strongly boosted by brand building and is essential for efficiency. Without it, the investment will be weaker, and growth will suffer
  • The optimum balance between brand building and activation varies by context, depending on the relative ease/difficulty of the two tasks
  • The key factors that drive the optimum balance are the relative levels of emotional and rational consideration in consumer choice – where emotional consideration is high; brand building is easier; where rational consideration is high, activation is easier; where both are high, the budget should be shifted towards the more difficult task.
  • Penetration growth is always the main driver of growth for all brands. While penetration and loyalty go hand in hand, loyalty doesn’t increase without penetration


In addition, this latest research reveals that there are six contextual factors that brands must also consider and offset accordingly:

  • Which sector your brand is in – e.g., Durables, FMCG, Financial Services, Other Services, Retail
  • How consumers purchase your brand – e.g., offline, online, serial, subscription
  • How your brand is priced – e.g., value/mainstream, premium
  • The level of innovation applied to your brand – e.g., none, any, new variant, new sub-brand, entry into a new category
  • The life stage of your category- e.g., new, established, declining, stagnant, or low growth; medium or high growth
  • How big your brand is – e.g., launches in first 1-2 years, launches after the first year, small brand, medium brand, large brand.




My focus is on the long-term

The focus of my articles and content philosophy is all about the long-term content. This is a different ballgame. It is about showing and telling your why and your passion as a brand and for your products. 

For short-term activation content tips, check out all the amazing tricks webinars and seminars on how to develop a kick-ass, effective activation campaign for social media.



This page is a re-publish from January 2020. Even pre-Corona, when the world was in a whole different place.

My reason for re-publishing three years later in the fall of 2023, which is about a lifetime in content, is that this page keeps popping up in my statistics as very well-read. And great content deserves to be shared again and again, as it makes an impact again and again. 

Credits to Les Binet and his amazing work.