The CEO Drives the Brand

Martin Roll

In the next five years we will see a rapidly changing landscape across the globe, where the opportunities for businesses to benefit from corporate strategy and product branding efforts will be larger than ever before.

The growing emphasis on branding and brand strategy will move up the boardroom agenda, and branding will become one of the most prominent drivers of value across the globe in the next two decades. Businesses with a sustainable business model and with a visionary and passionate CEO with branding talent will benefit from the rising opportunities for competing in the modern market place and potentially taking on the global scene.

It needs to be no less than the CEO who embodies the branding efforts and serves as the company's and thereby the brand's primary advocate and nurturer. The approach is particularly well suited to companies whose top executives have a passion and talent for brand strategy, but in tomorrow's tough environment all top executives must be able to represent and lead the brand. World-class companies such as Sony, Virgin, Starbucks, Microsoft, Nokia, Giorgio Armani, Singapore Airlines, LVMH, L'Oreal and Nestle all meet that description. Their top executives are directly involved in leading the branding vision, strategy and implementation, and they spend a significant amount of their work hours to drive their brands forward and to achieve even better results.

Tomorrow's CEO must be a brand champion who leads corporate and product branding strategy, all strategic brand-portfolio decisions and constantly monitors the implementation of the brand strategy locally, regionally and globally. A strong CEO has credibility and respect not only because of business talent and organizational power but also because of the depth of experience, knowledge and insight. A suggestion from a visionary CEO with branding talent and managerial experience in branding and marketing is the key driver of the branding efforts and results in any successful brand strategy.

But having the branding know-how and sophisticated marketing technology is no longer adequate. The modern business leader needs to be a complete player who covers a broad range of managerial capabilities and experiences and has the vision to constantly monitor and improve. Being a marketing wizard is no longer enough. One also has to be an excellent business leader , strategist and a passionate brand marketer with a truly international edge.

Adapted from