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The "B Word"

by Judy Neer, Thursday, February 21, 2013

I’ll never forget a few years ago, I was sitting in a conference room with one of my clients waiting for the CEO to arrive. Suddenly, my client turned to me and in hushed, urgent tones said, “I almost forgot! Whatever you do, do not say the 'brand word’ in front of the CEO!”

Historically, using the "B word” around anyone outside of Marketing was tantamount to a four-letter word, or, at a minimum, viewed as fancy marketing speak that didn’t really mean anything to business goals or the consumer’s experience. Oh, how times have changed.

Today, everyone, especially the CEO, needs to embrace the brand word. Leading organizations now see the value of a cohesive brand message and delivering on that message to the customer. They understand that referring to “our brand” versus “our company” isn’t just semantics. They know that in order for a brand positioning to be effective it needs to permeate across all departments and employees, as well as, reflect the genuine values of the organization.

And none of this is possible if a CEO refuses to use, let alone hear, the word brand.

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