Yesterday I wrote about the power of a clear brand idea. In closing I mentioned it only works if adhered to. Smart people in the brand consulting business do training. After the idea and architecture are sold to senior management, the consultant goes in and trains stakeholders in its proper use and care. A good practice.
I worked at McCann when they launched the new Lucent Technologies brand and the agency created a wonderful brand book that would live on office bookshelves for years, explaining the proper use and care of the brand — well after training faded. Training plus a brand book has a better chance of working. But there is an even better way.
Who is to be the steward of the brand idea? Usually it falls to the CMO and/or brand manager. But for most companies the task is back-burnered. They are too busy. So the position of “brand steward” needs to be created. A chief brand officer, if you will, but really only at a director level. Just as legal counsel needs to keep the law in mind, a brand steward needs to own brand strategy adherence. Someone to ask “Does this work deliver our brand claim and proof array?”
It’s not a hard job. It’s an important job. No one ever got sued for nonadherence to brand strategy. And that’s why there is so much sloppy brand craft.