A company should not manage its own brand by committee. It just doesn't work. Why? Generally you will find that many committees are made up of people with no skill or background in marketing, brand or positioning. They all have an opinion; they all want to offer advice, and what you end up with is:
- Action with no strategy
- No true direction
- No consistent brand tone, clarity or succinct messaging.
Somebody has to own and take responsibility for the brand. This must be somebody who truly understands how marketing and brand works and not just somebody who's read a book about it. Mark Twain once said “If you hold a cat by the tail, you learn things that cannot be learned in any other way.”
Sure you can take input from a variety of sources but ultimately the decision should lie with one single person who truly understands your brand, can see where it's going, what needs to be done and has a solid understanding of how this world of marketing warfare is conducted. They have to understand the rules of engagement.
Too often senior executives sit on committees that are making decisions on the direction and strategy for one of your most valuable assets, your brand, and they would be better off focusing on their own actual strengths that tend to lie elsewhere.“A camel is a horse put together by a committee”.
Why do so many leaders undervalue curiosity? I recently met a chairman of the company who clearly undervalued curiosity, having people around who would challenge the direction of the company, the strategy, and the value placed on the brand. Many leaders feel threatened by people who will not accept the first idea put forward (often their idea), but instead should entertain or ask questions to ensure that the best opportunity is presented for now and into the future. As we leap into 2017, curiosity is one of the great attributes that any leader can foster.
Over the Christmas break I read a terrific book that I highly recommend called A Curious Mind by Hollywood film producer Brian Grazer. It’s a story about Brian’s restless, relentless, and remarkable imagination driven by questions. This book shows you how questions can change not only your life, but also the life of others. Brian Grazer is a super successful movie producer with credits like A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Splash, 8 Mile, and a host of other Academy award nominated films. This is a great book that reminds us that curiosity cures complacency and breaks familiarity.
Don’t be threatened by people who challenge, question, or are curious about the business if it’s coming from the right place, as this surely is where the next great idea can be unlocked.