The importance of brand to your CEO and Senior Leadership Team

June 11, 2019

Owning up to your brand

I’ve run my own brand agency for over a decade, and in that time I’d say fewer than ten per cent of CEOs took ownership of their brand. 

CEOs tend to come from business, law, and accounting backgrounds and don’t receive any training in branding. They think branding is something only FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) companies need to pay attention to.

But that’s an outdated business model, harking back to the days before social media and global competition. In today’s world of Instagram influencers, Ted Talks, and celebrity CEOs, everyone on your leadership team needs to understand the value of your brand.

How to bring brand into the boardroom

The underappreciated CMO

Your brand needs to be seen as a strategic priority, just like finance, risk and governance.

But few CEOs have a background in marketing, most non-FMCG boards don’t include a marketing expert, and the average tenure of a CMO is only 4.1 years, making any long-term brand strategy difficult if not impossible.

Why so few CMOs become CEOs


Take charge of your brand, starting today

Whether you are a CEO, board member, CMO or other manager or stakeholder, you can play a role in elevating your organisation’s brand to being a strategic priority.

While this requires a long-term commitment and buy-in from leadership, there are several things you can do immediately to help get your brand recognised as a strategic priority:

  • Have a discussion about your brand with your team. You’d be surprised how many companies can’t even articulate what their brand is and how it differs from the competition.
  • Do a SWOT analysis. If you’ve done one recently, share and discuss it. I’ve done many SWOT analyses for clients that aren’t shared within the organisation or followed up on.
  • Ask customers what your brand means to them. You’d be surprised how often even loyal customers have a divergent view of your mission and values. Follow up with brand research if you can.


Picture of Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor

MD & Head of Strategy and Research

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