Despite 90% of CEOs in the UK insisting that the 'brand' is key to business growth, new research into the mid-sized business (MSB) sector shows that it regularly fails to make the boardroom agenda.
Interviewing 42 MSB CEOs, London-based brand consultancy Purpose found that nine in ten believe brand is crucial to business growth. But 78% agree that business strategy and brand strategy are interdependent, highlighting the importance of brand.
When asked how often brand appeared on the boardroom agenda, an alarming 61% replied ‘never’, with only 11% citing ‘every time’. This was in spite of 58% of CEOs stating their brand was managed internally by the board.
Meanwhile, only 28% of CEOs believed that a brand should impact every department, with 69% saying brand only needed to impact the sales and marketing divisions.
Yet perceptions of brand’s function within a business remains unclear, with many leaders still misinterpreting brand as a ‘project’ rather than the lifeblood of the organisation. For example, 50% of the MSBs surveyed admitted that they have never tracked the performance of their brand.
Giles Redmayne, director at Purpose, said: “While the vast majority of CEOs understand brand to be one of the most important aspects of their business, the culture of brand is clearly lacking within organisations. A renewed focus on brand can only come from the top down and CEOs need to ensure that they align their board to this vision.
“Placing the issue of brand at the heart of the management team, simply by making it a boardroom discussion point, allows leaders to ensure the business has direction and give consistent clarity to customers, markets, investors and talent. A brand strategy which is driven from the boardroom will also provide a sharp focus for behaviours, processes, products and priorities, which will in turn drive efficiency.”