Not too long ago, I heard from a client who we were helping through a name change. He was frustrated with his team because they were whining and complaining about a possible name change and how it could affect them. In one of the funniest Brand Champion moments, he sends out an email to his team calling them “pink thong wearing she-makes,” and told them that they should stop their whining, be patient, and allow us to get through the process. When I read the email, I about peed my pants from laughing so hard, but he was right; that is what Brand Champions do.
Brand Champions own their company’s brand. They take responsibility and action for the brand, and sometimes that requires ruffling some feathers to get the brand where it needs to be.
The attributes of a Brand Champion include some of the following, in no particular order:
1) Be Presidential – This is handling situations in a manner that you feel proud of, with respect, class, and poise. Being presidential is a rare trait that is learned with experience, patience, and thinking on your feet. This allows you to get through hard times, earn the respect of others, lead in the face of challenges, and bring your brand to the next level.
2) Attitude – I can’t explain how important a positive attitude is in running an organization. It’s the Brand Champion’s job to help manage the culture; part of that job is to make sure everyone thinks and believes you fulfill your brand value proposition and live your brand. A big part of that is believing and thinking you can accomplish those things. Attitude is everything. It’s your job to help manage the culture and set a positive example with your positive attitude.
3) Determination – The will to succeed is huge for a Brand Champion and it takes determination to lead a team to win. All business leaders and Brand Champions will face challenges, but it takes an unrivaled determination and will to win in the face of any and all challenges. Determination is one of the qualities that all Brand Champions share.
4) Improvisation – Brand Champions all have to improvise and have the ability to adapt to challenges. When your brand takes off, improvisation will play a huge roll. Challenges will arise where your improvisation skills will be tested. You must adapt and stay ahead of the pack that’s coming after you.
5) Leadership – One of the main purposes of a Brand Champion, and vital to the organization, is the ability to provide leadership. Brand Champions must guide their companies to fulfill their brand promise so they can be leaders in their market space. They need a leader who can drive them to be the best brand as well as embrace challenges and change.
6) Boldness – Just like my client who called out his team for whining, crying, and complaining, being a Brand Champion sometimes requires you to be bold and decisive. Since brands can’t stay static, you have to evolve and grow as a company along with your brand. If you want to make that happen, it requires a Brand Champion to be bold.
One of my favorite phrases we like to say around here is, “Branding ain’t for sissies.” A brand Champion must possess nerves of steel, presidential qualities, a positive attitude, determination, improvisation, boldness, and decisiveness. You must stay ahead of the pack, own your space, be the best, and produce results. Practice and hold these values true and be your company’s Brand Champion!