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Boards don’t get brands

Branding begins and ends in the marketing department, right? That seems to be the opinion in many boardrooms, who still don’t understand that the entire business operations, activities and behaviour directly impacts the brand, business and bottom line.

Whilst brand values may not be considered by some as meaningful in today’s digital world, where it appears to be all about content and engagement; these founding principles still have an important role in modern branding and marketing.

Let’s take the classic brand value used by many - partnership. “We listen, learn and respond etc.” it says in the brand guidelines. BUT, product development teams still develop the next product release in isolation without engaging the market based on future direction. Sales teams don’t demonstrate empathy with the people sat across the table, preferring to talk rather than listen. Call centres are off-shored to save money, only to frustrate and lose customers. Employee relations are at an all-time low, with one department not relating to or understanding the other. HR is failing to engage with employees and respond to their issues. These scenarios go on and on.

Even worse, the company's social marketing is treated as another outbound marketing channel and not a place where a mutually beneficial dialogue can take place and lessons across the entire business can be learned.

The board comprises a group of individuals, each responsible for running an operational part of the business. In their roles they also need to take responsibility for ensuring the brand's integrity and delivery. Targets and objectives should include  and demonstrate this.

Boards need to understand we no longer live in a monologue world. The world is in one big conversation; where everyone is a potential brand ambassador or assassin. Boardroom to post-room , everyone needs to understand and deliver the brand.