Brand belongs to the CEO

Brand belongs to the CEO

Brand belongs to the CEO

Don’t delegate

The brand belongs to the Marketing department, right?


If we believe that a brand is the sum total of the way your company is experienced, who else might be involved in building the brand?

Leaving the Marketing department out of it for the moment, let’s look at the other role players and what they need to do to support the brand at all levels.

  • HR – aligning staff behind brand values; recruiting the right talent; creating a brand-centric culture;  providing training which enables employees to deliver the brand promise; including on-brand behaviour into performance standards.
  • Operations –designing business processes which deliver the experience promised by the brand; setting controls to prevent off-brand behaviour; making sure that all processes are built outside-in.
  • IT – making sure that systems built are customer- and brand-friendly or designed to enable employees to deliver the brand promise, internally and externally.
  • Finance – managing the link between the performance of the brand and the company’s performance. Also, making sure that budget is focused on projects which directly or indirectly promote the brand’s journey to differentiation and ultimately, leadership.
  • Sales – presenting and pitching in a way which that leaves the prospect or customer in no doubt about what the brand stands for, providing consistent reinforcement.

A brand will NOT happen unless the CEO takes it under his or her own wing.

Can you imagine what the CTO would say if the Marketing Manager said:

“I need you to start focusing development projects on systems which…”

This is why brand belongs to the CEO who needs to drive it in a decisive way into all corners of the business.

When the CEO takes control of the brand and the team understand what the brand stands for, it empowers them to protect the brand.

“Sorry Admin Manager, we can’t build the system like you want – your specification is off-brand, it will impact negatively on the brand promise…”

Which brings us back to the Marketing Manager.

Marketing and Brand are different disciplines in the same way that Admin and IT differ. Like Zig and Zag, Marketing is left brain and linear or structured whereas Brand is right brain and creative.

In defining a brand, its best to deal with brand strategy specialists who will guide the CEO.

What then does the Marketing Manager do?

In the same way that IT, HR, Finance, Admin and Sales supports and resources the brand, so does Marketing. Based on the brand strategy and brand DNA signed off by the CEO, the Marketing Manager makes sure that the brand is articulated and presented accurately and in a way that differentiates and always reflects the core of the brand.

If you need help in defining your brand or creating an organisational structure which allows your brand to breathe, please contact

Gary Hendrickse
Sherpa CEO and Brand Strategist

Sherpa Brand & Design Agency