Brand equity: Are CEOs neglecting a valuable asset?

We have just come through the reporting season and for many companies outside the mining industry, the half year results don’t make for great reading. Numerous announcements of staff redundancies or store closures accompanied these profit announcements.

This made me wonder whether chief executives of large public companies are extracting enough value out of the brand as a core asset. Surely the time will come when reduction in cost or other efficiency improvement measures simply won’t be enough to deliver against shareholder expectation?

History’s pages show numerous case studies where renewed focus on brand equity delivered measurable upside on the revenue line and market share.

A friend once compared tough economic times to a yacht race, suggesting the race is typically won when the wind is down and not when all the competitors are in full sail.

It may not even require an increase in the marketing budget to create new momentum on the revenue line. So here are a few cheeky suggestions:

  • The CEO should claim a second title of CBO or Chief Brand Officer, thereby ensuring brand value reclaims its rightful place on the board agenda.
  • Dedicate time to assess brand strategy against your primary strategic objectives for the business.
  • Take a much keener interest in the value that strategic and creative talent can deliver for the business
  • Find time in your calendar to meet one on one with your counterpart at the advertising agency or brand consultancy.
  • Do this on a regular basis and you are likely to encounter fresh business solutions, not only to marketing challenges but new ideas right across the value chain. The currency here is fresh ideas, not foreign exchange

My experience has been that creative people are instinctively outstanding problem solvers. Why not expose them to a challenge you are facing in the business rather than just being at the receiving end of a marketing communications brief?

Importantly, it will put the CEO in direct contact with problem solving talent who can add measurable value to the business.


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