For brand strategies to have any real traction, they need to be born – at least in spirit – in the C-suite. Here are three reasons why:
1. Capture and reflect vision
The leadership team sets the vision for the enterprise. This vision informs the tone and spirit of the brand strategy.
2. Engage senior management ownership
A new brand strategy is a moment of transformation for the company. As active participants in the development of the brand strategy, senior leadership takes an ownership position in this change process.
3. Signal senior management buy-in
When it is well known that the C-suite has been deeply involved in the development of the brand strategy, management and employees place more faith and trust in it. This means they are more likely to feel part of it and act upon it.
Prerequisites for success
Of course, senior leadership involvement must be carefully managed, so as to respect their time and other commitments. Productive workshops and well-constructed individual interviews are needed.
Senior leaders will also need to be coached on how they can make the intent of the brand strategy relevant and motivational to people across the organization, as well as how they can use it to foster greater appreciation of, and involvement in, the company’s mission, vision, and values.
Finally, they also need to be provided with appropriate tools such as presentation materials, speeches, etc.
The price of leaving the C-suite out:
Many brand strategies suffer because they are seen as the property of another department or team, and therefore placed in the “not my job” bin by most of the staff. This means that whatever the brand is promising isn’t achieved across the organization.
As a result, employees and customers sense a gap between what the “brand” is promising, and how the company is managed. This dissonance makes them less committed and loyal to the company. This makes the company more vulnerable.
Why compromise your company’s investment in brand strategy? Why let your brand strategy be cut off at the knees because people see it as a marginal effort? Why risk creating a damaging gap between promise and delivery?
Indeed, from your leadership position, why miss the opportunity to not only shape a great brand strategy, but to lead it into a powerful reality?