Is Stakeholder Buy In Essential To Branding?

Derrick DayeJuly 22, 20071522 min

Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals like you build strong brands. BSI readers know, we regularly answer questions from marketers everywhere. Today we hear from Shelly, a senior marketer from Cleveland, Ohio who has this question about who should be involved in a branding initiative.

I am currently in the process of helping my company develop and implement the concept of Branding. Please know that this company is a quickly growing B2B organization that has previously lacked a marketing or brand focus. As a result of this I am encouraging all senior level members to become actively involved in the development process. This is quickly being met with opposition.

Could you please provide your advice to what parties you would feel are absolutely necessary to include in the brand strategy development process? My specific struggle is determining how much I should push the opposition of participation from other Senior VP’s or influential members from areas like our Operations, Finance, and Analytics departments.

Shelly, thanks for asking. Let me begin by saying you absolutely need top management committed to this process. Without this your brand will never reach its full potential.

In selecting this group, you can begin by eliminating anyone who is not a key stakeholder or influencer in the company. (I define an influencer as a colleague who most likely is junior but is an opinion leader in your organization.) For instance, if an analytics colleague is very influential yet is junior to others, they should be included. Generally with the CEO, the CFO, VP of Marketing, and VP of HR should be involved in the process.

As we know, the goal is maximum buy-in, and while there may be those you would like to exclude, the greatest unity can only be forged through maximum participation. Converting those standing in the way is rarely easy, but there is no chance if they are not included in the process. In fact, their resistance will most likely increase.

Shelly, I’ll have more thoughts for you later in the week when I touch on this again in an answer to a related question on the brand positioning process.

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2 comments

  • David Koopmans

    July 22, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Maybe one of the first things to do is to ensure that everyone involved has the same understanding of what “branding strategy” means.

    There is so much confusion around the subject that Shelly may find that whilst she is talking about aligning the company with its target market, others might think that all you are doing is changing the “look and feel”.

  • Derrick Daye

    July 22, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    Excellent point David.

    Derrick

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