When you have worked hard with your agency and internally to create or promote your brand, it can be tempting when things are going well in the market to sit back and congratulate yourself on a job well done.
But if the brand isn’t performing well where does the blame lie? Whose brand Is It anyway?
The first and most obvious answer might be that the brand belongs to the company and therefore the fault lies with whoever heads up the company be it CEO or board. But the brand is an idea, not an actual thing and if the company is large the top brass might not even have had much input into its development or growth.
So if the brand is the company’s idea of itself, its goals and values, does it rest within the hands of the employees who are more likely to interact daily with clients and have more influence on how the brand is seen? But if the employees have a vision of their brand and they fail to communicate it to their clients, is that their fault?
A successful brand has to live in the imagination of its clients. It needs to be more than a simple concatenation of symbol and name. It needs to project a rounded vision of the ethos of the business. We are aware that a tech start-up might be operating from a garden shed but our imagination lets us envision sleek operating premises full of bright fun people sharing ideas. Likewise a successful “country kitchen” food brand might actually be manufactured in an industrial unit outside Slough. If the customers aren’t convinced by the brand is it a failure of their imagination?
Or has the marketing team failed to nurture the brand, thinking that once it has launched it can sustain itself and they can move on to the next project?
What we need to realise is that a brand might only be an idea but it has to be held equally by everyone involved from the CEO to the office cleaning staff. If a brand fails to represent the company’s aims then everyone involved must look at their own input and responsibility. Just as no one person can take all the credit when things are going well, no one person must take all the blame in a downturn.
In short the brand belongs to All of Us.