Brand Champion – Why You Need One at All Times

Your brand promises something to consumers, and in my previous article you learned why it’s so important to ensure everyone who works for your company understands and believes in that brand promise through internal branding. Why would consumers believe your brand promise if your employees don’t? That’s also why you need a brand champion to lead the brand building charge.


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brand championWhether this person is called the Chief Brand Officer, Director of Brand Advocacy, or any other name you decide to use doesn’t matter. What matters is that your company has a person in a leadership position, preferably at the executive level, who embodies the brand promise, champions the brand promise internally and externally, and ensures it’s protected against naysayers.

In simplest terms, the brand champion has a variety of critical responsibilities. However, since most of a brand champion’s responsibilities help to increase brand equity, they don’t always drive immediately recognizable and tangible results that can easily be tracked. Therefore, it’s an easy position to eliminate or to group in with other responsibilities within another position. Don’t let that happen in your organization.

I’ll talk about some examples of brand champions to learn from in my next article. For now, let’s cover the role of the brand champion. Following are some of the broad, core responsibilities that person should have for a company:

Brand Cheerleaderbrand cheerleader

The brand champion should be the strongest, most vocal advocate of the brand without sounding like a broken record of audio corporate rhetoric. He needs to be able to motivate employees, consumers, and other external audiences to believe in the brand, too. He should also ensure the brand promise is integrated into all parts of the company with no stone left unturned.

Brand Protector

The brand champion should also be the brand’s guardian who protects it against negative publicity and stands up to the naysayers. When problems of any kind related to the brand arise, the brand champion should recognize them, address them, and bring them to the attention of necessary leaders before it’s too late to fix them.

Brand Embodiment

While the best case scenario is for all employees to be the living embodiments of the brand promise, at the very least, the brand champion should live and breathe the brand.

Brand Whisperer

A company’s brand champion must understand consumers. He has to not just view the brand from his internal position but from consumers’ eyes, too. It’s his job to speak for consumers to ensure business decisions fit the brand promise and consumers’ perceptions of the brand.

Brand Innovator

The brand champion must spearhead strategic and tactical planning to maintain the brand’s relevancy and leverage growth opportunities for the long-term.

Brand Coach

brand coachWithout education, no one will understand and believe in a brand fully. Therefore, the brand champion makes sure internal and external audiences understand the brand, and he makes sure business goals and initiatives align with the brand promise. Furthermore, he ensures all teams within the organization are operating on the same page as it relates to building brand equity.

Remember, the brand champion leads the charge, but without support from the business, the brand champion cannot succeed. In other words, executives must make brand building a strategic imperative for there to be a chance for real, positive results.

Stay tuned for my upcoming articles about real examples of great brand champions you can learn from!


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Images: dlnny, je1196, juliaf

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Gunelius

Susan Gunelius, MBA is a 25-year marketing and branding expert and President and CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She is the author of 10 books about marketing, branding and social media, and her marketing-related articles appear on top media websites such as Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com. She is also the Founder and Editor in Chief of WomenOnBusiness.com, an award-winning blog for business women.

3 Responses to Brand Champion – Why You Need One at All Times

  1. Judyo says:

    Great article, Susan, wish I’d found something like this a while ago while spinning my wheels.  Now to get the books (and maybe a consultant)!

  2. Andre Wilson says:

    Susan very well put together article. I have applied for the Brand champion post within my organization.

  3. CJ Deguara says:

    Well written. I especially agree with you on the brand coach element – this part of the brand champion’s job is extremely important especially when they are representing a young brand – furthermore adjusting the position as the brand grows older and solidifies a more concrete brand image. The coach role becomes even more important. The only role I would/might add is the analytical brand champion – the brand champion has to constantly measure the brand image and evaluate what the real result of their role is.

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