There is a banyan tree, which is a type of fig tree, located in Lahaina, Maui that has grown to become the largest banyan tree in North America and along with it, a famous tourist destination.
It has thousands of branches, covers an acre of land and stands over seven stories tall. One tree.
It was planted back in 1873, standing only 8 feet tall when it arrived as a gift from India. Banyan trees grow when birds eat the fruit, leaving seeds on the branches that germinate and send roots down to the ground. These eventually anchor and create numerous new trunks.
This famous Maui banyan tree now has more than a dozen major trunks in addition to its huge core and provides food and shelter for many forms of life which includes a wide array of birds, small creatures and even a few local homeless folks.
It appears to me that the things in life that are strong, vibrant and can stand the test of time all seem to embody the same characteristics. They seem to enjoy a rich history. They seem to be rooted deeply which allows them to weather the storms over time. They can re-invent themselves and find new paths to continue to grow year after year. They overcome obstacles and when they hit a wall (or a sidewalk), they simply find another way. Lastly, they successfully engage those around them.
This banyan tree is enormous, magnificent and has indeed left its mark. Which got me thinking.
These same characteristics are shared with many of the greatest brands we have all grown to enjoy. Coke, Microsoft, IBM, Toyota, Walmart, Disney, GE, Gillette, Visa, Mercedes Benz, Intel, BMW, American Express, McDonalds, Hewlett Packard and many more. Check out The Top 100 Brands.
It just reinforces to me that we are on track, when we gently remind our clients in working with them to build their brands, that everything good, solid, long lasting, memorable and meaningful takes time.