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Your CEO Is the Key to Successful Brand Management

Your CEO Is the Key to Successful Brand Management

ceo_1There’s a reason mega-corporations make the perfect villains in any blockbuster hit. Even the most deplorable antagonist still has a human side that’s difficult to ignore. But an impersonal company bent on profit at any cost? That’s a villain audiences love to hate.

With a brand management strategy in place, your business can avoid the faceless corporation trap by appearing more relatable and personable. Building positive brand affinity with your audience prevents a few negative reviews or poorly received tweets from spiraling into a PR nightmare. It protects your organization from negative backlash when problems inevitably arise because your customers already trust your company. 

In an age of transparency and constant feedback, brand management will safeguard your company’s reputation and create trust with even the most critical audiences. And it begins with your CEO.

Expose the Face of Your Company 

Whether your organization has 50 employees or 5,000, audiences will base their opinions of your brand on the CEO’s personality and industry authority. Your CEO’s personal brand reflects your company’s values and lends credibility to everyone else on the executive team.

CEO brand management can benefit the entire company in a few key ways:

  • Educate from the C-suite down. An executive branding strategy creates educational opportunities for the entire team, which is crucial for long-term growth. By publishing insightful, authoritative content, your CEO empowers other team members to learn from her experiences and build on their own knowledge. They’ll be more equipped to tackle tough problems or take initiative, strengthening your company on all fronts. 
  • Boost credibility and exposure. As the face of your company, when your CEO publishes content, speaks at conferences, or comments on trending industry topics, she’s establishing company-wide credibility. With a strong personal brand backed by published content, she’ll wield more influence and open doors to new audiences, making it easy to grow your business wherever you see a natural fit.

One of our clients, a large computer manufacturer, wanted to increase its exposure in the entrepreneurial community. The client drew on its insights to meaningfully engage in the conversation already happening in that sector. Thanks to the high-value content its key employees began publishing, the company quickly earned credibility in the space and drove more interest in its offerings.

Crafting content for a highly specific target audience opens doors that would otherwise remain closed. Executive content proves that your CEO understands different industries’ needs and kick-starts important dialogues with potential customers.  

  • Humanize the company. Remember what we said about faceless corporations? People don’t trust them. It’s much easier to villainize an impersonal identity than an organization whose CEO shares her experiences and flaws and engages with her community. Customers become brand advocates when they feel a personal connection. There’s no better way to make people feel valued and connected than through your CEO.

Bring Your CEO on Board

Your first and biggest challenge in creating a brand management strategy is convincing your CEO to take part in it. Her brand ties all the other elements together, so she needs to be on board. 

Here’s how to get her buy-in:

1. Create a sense of urgency.

Your CEO is already stretched thin, so if you pile another responsibility onto her plate, it has to be worth it. Pitch her the value of having an executive brand, using the list above to explain why her participation is vital to the company’s future.

2. Make it easy and routine.

CEO buy-in doesn’t mean you’ll have all the time in the world to mine her extensive experience for content ideas. You need a streamlined knowledge extraction process that stimulates your CEO and makes her want to participate on an ongoing basis. 

At Influence & Co., we use a knowledge management system to extract and organize our team’s insights. Play around with different formats until you find one that works for your team, and schedule short recurring meetings to build momentum. 

3. Start with small wins.

Focus on landing opportunities such as a guest-contributed article or a small speaking engagement early in the strategy. Don’t be afraid to aim for quick wins that benefit your CEO more than the company first. The initial payoff will motivate her to commit to the branding strategy long term. That’s when the company-wide benefits will really shine.

A dynamic, admired CEO inspires customers to be powerful allies whether your company is thriving or going through a rough quarter. By managing your CEO’s brand, you position her as an industry leader while making your company more resilient, trustworthy, and approachable in the long run.Download the Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing

Picture of Don Broekelmann

About Don Broekelmann

I am fascinated by technology and how quickly it is changing the world around us. When not reading up on new tech, I like to hang out with my family and squeeze in a couple rounds of golf.


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