Does Your Business Need A Chief Brand Officer?
15 July 2021
Author: Jasmine Waters
In a time when a social standpoint and presence matters enormously, brands are being looked at more than ever. One small slip can cost a brand its reputation, and sometimes it’s better not to say anything all together. Having the foresight to tell what will work when has become invaluable, meaning some companies have decided to create a new role of Chief Brand Officer. What does the role entail, and how is it helping brands?
What is a CBO?
There’s no doubting that brands that don’t pay attention to social cues, issues or take the correct amount of empathy will pay the price through sales and consumer loyalty. Thanks to the demand for transparency in branded interactions, every move a business makes now comes under intense scrutiny. Factors like a company’s HR policies now play a crucial role in driving consumer behaviour, often having as much influence as an advert or campaign. This interest in social responsibility has led to the creation of the Chief Brand Officer (CBO), to move in line with the need to maintain a social identity relevant to the existing brand. High profile brands like Moncler and Valentino were the first to make the move, in an effort to continually resonate with our fast-moving times.
Why might brands need one?
Now that the role has such an interest, the challenge is to become more holistic in brand strategies and rounded company branding. There is constant asking of what role a brand may have in the global arena, what its contributing and what kind of dialogue it wants to engage in. Some brands may choose to combine this role with their existing CMO, but it’s important to note the distinct differences. A brand officer typically has more involvement in the cultural conversation, moving away from marketing as its traditionally structured. We know that the most successful brands are the ones who tell the best narrative story, and CBO looks to create the consistency between brand communication and action.
Arguably, the most difficult territory that comes with a CBO is the expected ability to predict what comes ahead – which is almost impossible in the changing social landscape. By working across their company and connecting different departments to maintain one core value and sense of consistency, a CBO may be a brand’s best shot at united cohesion, from social posts to PR appearances. For an overall brand chameleon, looking at creating a CBO may provide a bigger sense of security to smaller brands to see them through the rocky social waters of 2021. For those serious about maintaining social responsibility, a CBO sends the message that investment is a permanent commitment to changing the social narrative for the better.
Image source: https://brandfolder.com/