Five reasons to bring brand into the boardroom

Boards generally don’t spend much time talking about brand value, in part because senior marketers have not mastered the art of turning marketing-speak into the financial language that resonates with directors. This in turn makes it hard to win board support for brand-building investments. Therefore, there are five reasons why a senior marketer should push the topic and bring brand into the boardroom:

1. Brand is a company’s most important intangible asset. A major crisis can cause brand value and stock price to plummet, putting brand in the board’s wheelhouse.

2. Brand is typically the most important driver of customer purchases in both B2C and B2B. The Reputation Institute’s 2015 report on corporate reputation—a critical aspect of brand—notes that 60 percent of consumers’ decisions to buy, recommend, or invest in a company are based on company perception.

3. Brand value is not grown or sustained without investment. Companies spend a lot on advertising and marketing to manage the perceptions that drive brand. It’s important for directors to stay on top of these investments.

4. Companies are effective when corporate strategy, brand strategy, and culture are aligned and are the basis of decision-making. It’s not wise to consider market expansions, acquisitions, or new product lines without examining how brand enables or inhibits success.

5. Brand is more than a “marketing thing.” A strong brand plays an integral role in talent acquisition, retention, and engagement. It also influences a business’ standing with its stakeholders, from analysts to investors.

Board members should consider Abraham Lincoln’s words: “Character is like a tree; reputation is like its shadow.” Building a brand is not about manipulating the shadow; it’s about nurturing the health of the tree. That’s the role of the board of directors. For more on this topic, download Jennifer Barron’s article, “Five reasons to bring brand into the boardroom.”

Published on January 4, 2016.

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