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 starts long before design is a major concern.
So the question is: who is responsible for branding?
This question is one of the main issues that stands between a company and a developing a powerful brand.
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 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 the marketing manager, campaign consultant or the branding director. 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 also the COO, CFO and CTO (and basically anybody with a “C” in their title) who adopt the cause and drive the strategy throughout the entire organization.
In order for branding to work, every single person must feel ownership and brand responsibility. The leadership must drive that into every nook and cranny of the organization.
How do you accomplish this? Begin by answering the three of the most important brand questions for your business:
What does it say about the customer that they chose your brand?
What is the singular thing that only your brand can deliver?
How does your brand make the customer feel like the hero in their own story?
These are big questions. The book, Branding is Sex, spends three full chapters diving into how to best answer each of them. But even once these questions are answered, you have to establish the foundation to enable 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, embody them in their day-to-day actions.
Then, question finally shifts from “who is responsible for branding?” to “who isn’t responsible for branding?”
What strategies do you use to establish a consistent brand within your company or startup?