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♟️ Brands Belong in the Boardroom

🇮🇸 Read this article in Icelandic by clicking here.

In the modern business landscape, brand building has become a crucial consideration for managers. While the discussion about brands is not new, its significance has grown considerably in recent years. Some of the world’s most successful companies have invested substantial effort in nurturing their brands over the years. The driving force behind this trend is the ever-evolving and fiercely competitive nature of today’s business environment.

Thanks to technological innovation, launching a business has become more accessible than ever before. Artificial intelligence and various tools empower individuals to start businesses independently, from conceptualizing a business idea to navigating legalities, creating content, designing websites, logos, packaging, and overall appearance. However, it’s vital to emphasize that human creativity remains paramount in this process and should not be underestimated.

Strong brands matter.
Returning to the importance of brands, the strength of the connection a brand forms with its customers directly influences the likelihood of establishing long-term relationships and repeat sales. Consequently, branding has transitioned from a nice-to-have aspect to an absolute necessity in business operations. Examples show that when brand-related decisions are made at a higher level within companies, the results tend to be more favorable.

The decisions in question relate to the strategy proposed by the company. We are not discussing decisions regarding individual marketing campaigns, but rather those concerning the long-term brand strategy and its positioning. This encompasses various elements, such as the brand promise, appearance, character, tone, narrative, and more. Since brand building is an ongoing process, it is often necessary to pause and ensure that everyone is aligned with the established strategy and objectives.

Brands evoke emotions.
At the core of our human nature lies the desire for recognition, connection, and alignment with those who share our preferences. Exceptional brands go beyond the ordinary; they form emotional bonds with their target audiences, fostering mutually beneficial relationships. In essence, these brands meet customer needs while gaining financial benefits.

A successful brand must consistently engage with customers across all customer touchpoints. If a brand makes promises in its marketing messages but fails to deliver in terms of service, communication, in-store experiences, or elsewhere, the customer-brand relationship is jeopardized. Therefore, simplicity, transparency, stability, and predictability are crucial factors in constructing and continually enhancing brands.

Pete Miller, the co-founder of Octopus Energy, operating in 13 countries across four continents, underscores the significance of brand building at the executive level. In this fast-paced and competitive landscape, prioritizing brand strength is not just a choice but a strategic imperative for sustainable business success.

Pete Miller
Co-founder of Octopus Energy

 “I think all of it boils down to the fact that we are still a small team. There are only six of us at the global leadership level, and we obsess over every single detail. We also don’t operate like a typical utility. We’re quite obsessive about doing things ourselves.
So, if that’s advertising and marketing, that’s all done by my team. We don’t outsource that. We’re all very hands-on and very iterative. But that goes for our technology as well. We build that ourselves. It also goes for our customer support. All of that is done by people who represent and believe in the Octopus Energy brand. We have people who go out and knock on doors to convince customers that Octopus Energy could be better for them. And those people are our employees, and they’re internal people too. And they really believe in the brand. And I think that makes a really massive difference.”

It’s intriguing to delve into Octopus Energy’s operational focus. The company has achieved remarkable growth in the UK’s energy sector, swiftly building a customer base of over 3 million people within five years. Their success is underscored by numerous awards, a testament to their commitment to prioritizing the brand and the relationships it cultivates with customers from the very beginning. What sets Octopus Energy apart is its ability to thrive while selling an intangible product.

On a parallel note, Magnús Hafliðason, the manager of Domino’s in Iceland, echoes a similar tone. Domino’s, a fast-food chain in Iceland, has gained significant popularity. In fact, it was recently recognized by brandr as one of the top Icelandic brands in the category of international brands. This recognition underscores the value of brand strength and its impact on customer perception.

Magnús Hafliðason
Forstjóri Domino’s.

“The significance of branding and marketing has arguably never been greater when it comes to acquiring new customers and fostering loyalty. Consequently, it is one of the most important aspects of most companies’ business operations. It is therefore confusing when you hear of companies that do not have marketing matters as part of the executive board’s responsibilities. The marketing decisions made can exert a significant influence on the company’s subsequent revenue, either positively or negatively. In fact, one could argue that the brand and decisions related to it often wield more influence over the day-to-day operations of many companies than most other factors, especially in the consumer market. It would be a belated decision to have the finance director sit outside the executive board, and the same principle should extend to the marketing director.”

Certainly, as highlighted in this article, a company’s brand extends far beyond its name or logo. It serves as the cornerstone for fostering trust among customers, establishing emotional connections, and delivering added value both to the company itself and its customer base. Resilient brands remain steadfast even in the face of crises, shifting consumer behaviors, and intense competitive forces. The businesses that recognize the pivotal role of brand strategy at the boardroom level are the ones poised to set industry standards, lead the way, and mold the landscape of future markets.

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    About Elías Larsen

    What I do

    I’m head of growth at brandr Index, focusing on developing strategic relationships that foster trust, reliability, and shared success. My role centers on connecting with forward-thinking partners worldwide to introduce innovative branding solutions across diverse markets.

    How I Do It

    My background in strategic business development and leadership drives my approach to growing brandr Index’s reach. I believe in a hands-on approach, crafting relationships that are as reliable as they are dynamic, ensuring every collaboration is both beneficial and enduring.

    My Mission

    As a young, ambitious professional, I actively seek challenges that enhance my skills and push the boundaries of what we can achieve in business strategy and development. My approach is always to inspire growth and operational efficiency through innovative practices.

    Guiding Principles

    I am deeply passionate about developing strategic approaches that not only accelerate the growth of startups but also enhance the scalability of established firms. 

    Leadership, to me, means having a clear vision and the practical skills to implement effective strategies that align with the dynamic needs of the market.

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