Yes, you read the title correctly. Does your business have a chief brand officer? This title is not synonymous with a chief sales officer, chief customer service officer, or even a chief marketing officer. The latest position to join the C-Suite is an individual who is solely responsible for owning a brand or family of brands, thus, the title of Chief Brand Officer.
No matter who owns the brand or brands in your business, there are three key responsibilities for the individual in this role.
First, make sure that all brand tools are consistent. This means that all your digital assets including your main website, your blog, and all your social media accounts reflect the same look and feel; and make sure all your printed collateral also reflects the same look and feel (brochures, newsletters, flyers, annual reports, etc.). Make sure they all provide the same description about your company and brand, feature the same logo and/or tagline, and include the same color palette. For example, you would look twice and not trust a site with a purple Coca-Cola logo – those iconic red and white colors are as famous as the product they represent.
Second, make sure your brand has a clear and defined voice. If you provide professional services, for example, legal or financial services, you may use formal language that matches your industry. But if you sell consumer products, your ads and emails may be full of informal lingo to connect with your audience. Depending on your industry, there may be appropriate words that would be considered essential to include in your brand messaging. For example, professional sports have terminology that is important in their branding – football ads can easily integrate “touchdowns” and “hail Mary’s,” and baseball ads can easily integrate “home runs” and “shut outs.” And if your product is more appropriate for a specific age group, keep appropriate words and phrases in mind.
Third, create brand advocates. As the owner of your brand, you want to welcome employees into the branding process so that they understand their importance in sharing your brand story with the world. Since all employees are brand advocates, take the time to educate employees about your brand’s strengths during the onboarding phase and also re-train on a regular basis. Make the training fun and always have a smile on your face.
If you serve as the Chief Brand Officer for your business, what do you do on a daily basis to protect your brand, promote it, and create brand awareness? Please chime in.
GUEST POST BY DEBBIE LASKEY, MBA
Debbie Laskey has 17 years of marketing experience and an MBA Degree. She developed her marketing expertise while working in the high-tech industry, the Consumer Marketing Department at Disneyland Paris in France, the nonprofit arena, and the insurance industry. Her expertise includes brand marketing, social media, employee engagement, leadership development, and customer experience marketing. Honored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles City Council, Debbie is currently a brand marketing and social media consultant to nonprofits and small businesses. She also serves as the marketing committee chair for a gala for the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles, a Board Member of the Print Interactive Radio & Television Educational Society (PIRATES), and a regular contributor to the Nonprofit Quarterly Newswire. Since 2002, Debbie has served as a judge for the Web Marketing Association’s annual web award competition and has also been recognized as one of the "Top 100 Branding Experts" to follow on Twitter (@DebbieLaskeyMBA).