Branding is a funny thing. It’s often a part of marketing, but requires different skillsets than the marketing team has. It comes from the customer experience, but customer service reps aren’t able to set the strategy. It requires design, but it starts long before design.
So the question is: Who is responsible for branding?
This question is one of the main issues that stands between a company and a powerful brand.
So who should be responsible for the brand strategy at your company? It doesn’t matter if you are a small business owner with five employees, or you’re the CEO of a billion-dollar company, the answer is the same…
Branding is everybody’s responsibility.
Contrary to commonly held beliefs, branding is not the responsibility of some marketing manager or the person in charge of campaigns or the person with brand in his or her title.
Organizations that benefit most from branding are the ones where everyone in the company is a steward of their brand.
The companies that do the best are the ones in which the people at the top of the organization lead the charge for branding. In those companies, it’s often the CEO, but it’s also the COO and the CFO and the CTO and basically anybody with a “C” in their title who takes up the cause and drives the strategy through the entire organization.
In order for branding to work, every single person must feel ownership and responsibility for the brand. And the leadership must drive that into every nook and cranny of the organization so that people are walking the brand talk.
How do you do that? It starts by answering the three most important brand questions for your business:
- What does it say about the customer that they choose your brand?
- What is the singular thing that only your brand can deliver to your customer?
- How does your brand make the customer the hero in their own story?
These are big questions. Branding is Sex spends three full chapters diving into how to best answer each of them. But once these questions are answered, you have the foundation to allow your entire team to take responsibility for branding.
Your answers to these questions, as well as your understanding of what’s at the top of your Brand Values Pyramid, need to become gospel within your company. Every employee should know the answers and, more importantly, should embody them in their day to day actions.
It should be clear to everyone in your company that every single thing that any person in the company does must align with delivering on those promises.
When you have that, the question is no longer “Who is responsible for branding?” Instead, it becomes “Who isn’t responsible for branding?”