7. September 2015

Brand Centric Leadership: Brands provide orientation for leadership

Too often, the brand is not lived by management or the employees. That can be dangerous. We will introduce you to a leadership system that is based in the brand: Brand Centric Leadership.

Does your company have a published value system? Are leadership and conduct rules posted on the wall? Are the values communicated in annual reports and on employee platforms? Do your managers and therefore your employees know about your corporate goals, your brand values, and your positioning? Do your leaders enjoy the recognition of the staff because they act as role models?

If yes, then you have achieved much. If no, you have a problem. Because if the people in your company do not live your brand's positioning and strengths and act in accordance with them in their everyday business, the following happens:
Employees do not identify with the brand. They do not recommend their own employer as a service provider or as an employer, because their teams don't know whom they are following and because one out of seven employees would like to fire their bosses anyway (IFAK Institute 2008).

Resignation and demotivation rule the workplace, because leadership behavior affects employee performance. Only 39 % of managers create a motivating work atmosphere (Hay Group 2013).
Leaders are influenced by constant change, expectations, and requirements – and the essence of the company, its actual brand promise, is left behind.
Lagging behind in everyday management leads to disorientation of the role model function for employees.

This problem arises when leaders don't know where the company is headed. What goals they should be supporting with their actions, and how they can be a good example for their employees to show them the right path.

To avoid these problems, you need a uniform leadership system that is based in the brand. Because a strong brand is a foothold during turbulent times, not only for the company, but for the management staff as well. When the brand idea is rooted in the organization and brought to life from the inside out by the role model function of leaders, the gap between organizational reality and external perception begins to close.
Once that happens, there are no more empty phrases – called brand values – that are written on the wall and nobody understands. The company is perceived to be credible and honest.

The leadership system called "Brand Centric Leadership (BCL)" can help with this process. It is based on the brand core and is a uniform leadership system that gives top managers and employees of the company orientation, trust, and meaning during turbulent times.

The principle of Brand Centric Leadership (BLC) demands the following of leaders:
"Great leaders KNOW, SHOW and GO the way!"
KNOW: Leaders know where the road is going.
SHOW: Leaders act as good role models.
GO: Leaders guide their employees to their goals.

What is needed for BCL to be successful? An essential point is living the brand. Not everyone can credibly embody all corporate values. By dealing with the topic honestly, the mindset is sensitized to it. Ultimately, brand-centric thinking becomes a guidepost that penetrates other corporate processes such as HR processes or communication.

What benefit does Brand Centric Leadership provide?

It creates a uniform leadership style: BCL stabilizes the use of the brand and creates a uniform and simple leadership system that translates theoretical action frameworks into experienced reality. Many departments have their own leadership principles, which are worked out on a whim, and usually bear the department's own signature style rather than that of the company that permeates all departments consistently.

It strengthens the brand from the inside out: The benefit is that strict and internalized role modelling of the brand in the leadership system conveys the brand promise to the outside. The consequence: The brand promise stands out at all brand touchpoints, which sustainably boosts the company's success.

It supports leaders in their daily work: You would not believe in how many companies the brand hardly plays any part at all. According to a survey conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute, only 20 % of resp0ndents believe that leaders convey values and standards through their everyday actions.

BCL counteracts this with its approach of placing the brand at the center of all activities. That way, leaders can integrate the brand tangibly and comprehensibly into their daily work.

It promotes identification of people in the company: BCL has the task of keeping a system alive. And it has the ability to provide meaning. The consistent role modelling of brand values by leaders and the application of the brand in leadership situations supports employees' identification with the company. It increases the value from the inside out.

The attractiveness of a firmly managed brand leaves its mark on the job market and thereby attracts good employees. Brands like Google, Facebook, etc. are examples for companies who integrate their value system into their employee management. They don't hang the brand on the wall, but live it, as » Google has proven in the worldwide Universum ranking for six years in a row.

It gives more stability during the transformation and makes brands resilient: Companies are faced with the volatile business environment and constantly have to adapt to the challenges of their sector. Globalization creates highly competitive markets and makes it harder and harder to achieve profitable growth. The brand is the value driver that can counteract this.

It's not gold paint: What BCL cannot do

Brand Centric Leadership is not a gold painted model– meaning: not everything is good that shines on the surface. Rather, Brand Centric Leadership is a method of gilding from the inside out. Leadership performance is checked for substance, filed and polished, until it fits the origin but also the future of the company and the leadership team.

Brand Centric Leadership is not ...

a no-action leadership model, but based on the brand core.
a theory, but actual leadership conduct.
soft, but result-oriented and measurable.
meaningless, but credible, because values are what makes a living reality.

So we see, Brand Centric Leadership is not a short-lived fad, nor is it a simple management model. It facilitates the identification of all employees in the company and creates a common understanding of leadership in the team, to let you show countenance and poise in turbulent times.



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Hattrick: We are also in the FOCUS Top Management Consultants ranking in 2023

For the third time in a row, we have been recognised as a top management consultancy by business magazine FOCUS in 2023. Once again this year, the excellent performance and memorable expertise of our consultants was recognised by both clients and colleagues.

We are delighted with this appreciation and would like to thank our clients and colleagues.

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