Building Brand Leadership

Over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to work with brands that are all on board with what brand can add to their business.

Building brand leadership within your organisation

We've written about determining if a business believes in brand. The other side of that coin is how individuals bring their brand leadership to a business. We’ve seen the best in action. Here’s what they have in common. 

Define what you mean

It's day one of your new job; you go into a room of ten people and ask them what they think the brand is. There is no doubt that you'll get hit with ten different answers. When starting at an organisation, it's important that you set the standard about what brand is, to define what it means and why it's useful. Then, share it.

No matter how the business changes, this definition should stay true. Getting everyone behind this will pay dividends later on. The challenge, as outlined earlier on, is that it seems everyone has a different definition. Here's what we use.

Businesses are built upon the architecture, identity, and associations with brand. It is brand that implies value and serves as a North Star for every strategic decision a firm makes.

We like this as there is no mention of a logo or a strapline. It's a call to action. Start building value with brand through architecture, identity and association. Whatever definition you go for, introduce it and keep bringing it back.

As a rule, I share definitions of all things brand-related everywhere. Brand is such a sloppy discipline that you can't assume everyone sees it the same way you do. Bring everyone with you by sharing your definitions.

Tie brand to the success of the business

Brand strategy is business strategy. Look to tie the brand objectives to the business objectives. This lifts you above being the "colouring-in department". Brand should be a revenue generator, not a cost.

It's depressing when we talk to brand people, and they tell you that they just don't have this guidance. And it's not as if they've not asked. But without this foundational detail, you're creating "brand stuff". Brand stuff is the beginning of the end. You're creating comms with no focus and no direction. That ends up in no point. If you're in that hole, how can you find that strategic direction?

If you're a listed company, then an annual report is ideal. They have to highlight risks to the business, risks that brand may be able to help with. Failing that, talk to the sales team. They're at the coal face; they understand what works and what doesn't. We love talking to sales teams. They can be a source of quick and dirty customer journey insights and can offer you guidance that can help create real change. They are a great place to start if you want to push beyond the nonsense brand stuff.

Share, share, share

Two things can be true at the same time. At Good, we believe that a strong recognition of what brand can do for a business is vital. We also know that a lot of people don't care about brand. We're comfortable with that tension; we know it matters when it matters. We know that "when" is only when you need it to.

If sales are going well, it's assumed it's down to that new product. Or because of that groovy sales technique. Brand tends to hide its light under a bushel. It can be hard to prove the impact. Understanding the impact and how it ties back to your definition is important. Show how it is building a stronger business. Show how you're making brand matter within your organisation by showing growth. Whenever you can, share this. It all helps build your brand leadership position.

These are obvious on the face of it. However, as we've worked with organisations and helped define their brand strategy, hitting these points has helped the adoption of the initial process and the ongoing rollout of any changes. This will make your brand better understood, respected, and valued within your business.