Brand Champion And How It Helps To Build Better Brands
Does your brand need a superhero? A champion who will fight for what they believe in, push to do the right thing, and always put your brand’s best interests at the heart of what they do? Welcome to the role of brand champion.
A brand champion is the oracle and defender for your whole brand personality. They are charged with the quest of ensuring that your brand story is consistent and powerful, a gatekeeper tasked with the mission of amplifying your brand story both inside and outside your business.
Now if this is all sounding a little bit Lord of the Rings, that’s because you want your brand story to be epic. Don’t worry though, we’re not going to split this up into some entirely unnecessary three-part story. We’re just going to talk about what a brand champion should do, and why it’s important.
Understanding your brand internally
It’s sometimes easy to dismiss branding as an external endeavour, but a brand champion’s job starts a lot closer to home. Internal consistency and brand understanding is a key part of a champion’s role.
A brand champion can help ensure a coherent and widely understood brand personality within your organisation. They provide a valuable opportunity to clarify what your brand stands for, and crucially – how that aligns with your brand strategy.
Your brand’s image is the most valuable thing you own as a brand. Having a champion who argues for the importance of that image can be vital. That means communicating that mission to staff throughout your organisation, from the ground floor right up to the C-Suite.
If you want to understand the cost of failing to adhere to those brand values, just look at German automobile company Volkswagen. The company, once synonymous with reliability and quality, was caught up in a scandal in 2015 around rigged emissions testing that saw many of its cars artificially performing better on emissions assessments. The discovery of this scandal has to date cost the company US$35 billion, and shattered their reputation for trust and reliability. This is an extreme example, but clearly highlights the value of a brand’s reputation, and importance of ensuring a culture that recognises and respects it. That’s what a brand champion can help do.
Amplifying your brand externally
Consistent brand messaging is the core of a successful brand. That consistency should begin with a deep understanding of your brand personality by the people of your organisation, but delivering it to your audience is the essential next step.
A brand champion isn’t some sort of maddened copywriter-editor-superhero who rushes between departments checking every piece of external communication that emerges from your company. Instead their goal is to embed the spirit of your brand within your organisation, so that you can help amplify it without.
What that brand champion helps deliver is consistency. Consistency of understanding within your organisation, that leads to consistency of the message received by your audience. A US-based McKinsey survey of 27,000 consumers clearly highlighted that consistency was the secret ingredient to a happy consumer. And a happy consumer means more value for your brand.
Of course a brand shouldn’t remain static. A brand champion isn’t just tasked with conveying a message about your brand to your audience, they also need to be able to understand your audience and reflect that understanding back to inform your brand. Evolution is an important part of a successful brand story, so part of a champion’s role isn’t protecting a rigid image of your brand, but helping transform it as and when is required.
How do you build the right brand champion?
First and foremost a brand champion must embody enthusiasm. If you want to make people passionate about your brand, you need a passionate advocate who can argue why they should. That passion not only translates into a more powerful story, it also helps build the kind of confidence that permeates throughout a business.
You need to think about selecting someone who isn’t afraid to offer their opinion. Sometimes brand champions need to question what other people are doing, and that’s not always an easy task if you’re speaking to those in an organisation who may be in senior positions.
Empathy is also an important part of a brand champion’s role. They need to be able to understand the way that other people see the brand, and how that reflects on the role they must perform. On one hand that means understanding how employees can best be informed and educated about consistent brand values. On the other hand it means having the ability to perceive how an audience might view a brand, and indeed how a brand might evolve to better fit a target audience.
Ultimately, brand value is the foundation of everything your brand represents. Apple aren’t just a trillion-dollar company simply because of the power of their technology, it’s also built on the perceived quality and value that consistent brand messaging has delivered. Rolex aren’t just a luxury watch brand because of their watches, they’re a brand built on a brand mission that constantly evolves to meet the expectations of what a luxury brand should be.
A brand champion is your chance to build a better brand story. It’s your opportunity to deliver that story consistently. And ultimately – it’s a chance to empower your brand to deliver greater business success.