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Branding & Leadership

The Board’s Role In Brand Management

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The Board's Role In Brand Management

Fortune Brands, known for its distilled spirits, home and security and golf brands is breaking up to be sold off as divisions. The strategic intent from two consecutive CEOs was to maximize the value of the corporation as a holding company – thus providing sound reasoning for a long-term cohesive corporate brand.

Unfortunately, in the transition to the next CEO that priority was replaced with more immediate needs of the product brands. All well and good, except that without a corporate brand focus the logic and cohesion of the holding company loses resonance, eventually leading to underperformance of the stock and increasing pressure to break up the company.

Corporate brand campaigns should be protected, and even funded, at the board of directors level. Corporate brands are long-term investments with returns best measured over years, not by quarters.

To maximize the ROI of this important intangible asset, the brand should be viewed differently than other company assets. The vision and the intent of the corporate brand are critical to a company’s success and should supersede the domain of the corporate hierarchy.

Board members should never get into the trenches on the execution of brand campaigns. Rather they should be actively involved in understanding and managing the strategic intent of the long-term health of the corporate brand.

CEOs and CMOs might argue that this is an infringement on their territory, but there is no question that a tremendous amount of brand value is to be gained when they are managed well, or lost when corporate brands are compromised during the handoff from one CEO to the next.

Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: James Gregory, CoreBrand 

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