Getting the C-suite to Buy into Brand: Practical Advice for Senior Brand Marketers

By Wavelength Marketing14th May 2024July 10th, 2024blog

Read Dr. Coleman’s latest post, outlining how brand marketers can sway c-suite interest in brand.  Crafting a Compelling Narrative, Adopting a Data-Driven Approach and Initiating Brand Equity Measurement are some of the practical pointers he provides.

Aligning C-suite perspectives and priorities with the need for long-term brand investment is a significant challenge that many senior marketers face.

The nuanced and intangible nature of branding doesn’t always resonate in boardrooms focused on shorter-term financial metrics. Being able to bridge this gap is crucial for sustained and profitable brand growth. Based on my experience there are seven actions – in no particular order – you can take to make a convincing case for brand investments to the c-suite.

Crafting a Compelling Narrative

Leverage well-established neuroscientific insights to harness the power of storytelling. This entails understanding the limbic system – a region of our brand which is central to processing stories, emotions and memories. By crafting emotionally engaging narratives that position the brand as a supportive partner rather than the hero, you enable stakeholders to become the protagonists of their own brand experiences, increasing brand affinity.

Adopting a Data-Driven Approach

Move beyond simplistic data visualisations such as pie charts and bar charts towards more advanced brand analytics which help minimise exposure to brand investment risk. Techniques like marketing mix modelling, structural equation modelling and regression analysis will help you demonstrate how specific brand activities influence key performance metrics of interest.

By presenting data that highlights the commercial impact of brand initiatives, you align more closely with the C-suite’s focus on quantifiable outcomes, making a compelling case for sustained brand investment.

Initiating Brand Equity Measurement

When measuring brand equity, start out by keeping thigs focused and simple. Sophistication can come with time. The trick is to do less, well, repetitively over a sustained period of time. This will help you show how brand is delivering value metrics such as the ability to charge price premiums, relative satisfaction, and mental availability. Aligning your measurement strategies with C-suite goals not only reinforces the relevance of brand metrics but also frames them within the broader business objectives.

Experimenting with Brand Uplift

Addressing C-suite scepticism about branding can be challenging. Conducting controlled brand uplift experiments can provide empirical evidence of how brand contribute to lead generation and sales conversions.

As the saying goes, brand generates demand and experimenting with brand uplift provides concrete data to support brand investment decisions which ultimately ripple down to cold, hard, financial returns. This is precisely what the c-suite is looking for.

Harnessing Qualitative Insights

Incorporating customer voices, literally, into your executive debriefs and presentations can stop the C-suite in their tracks. This can take the form of collages of video and / or audio sound bites from customer interviews which illustrate a key insight you want to share. Using qualitative data adds depth and humanity to your data, making the case for brand investment more compelling and relatable to the C-suite.

Navigating C-suite Dynamics

Empathy and agenda alignment are critical soft skills for getting the C-suite to invest in branding. Granted it can be a messy business but understanding the individual priorities of C-suite members provides a basis for you to tailor your approach so it resonates with their political agendas. If you can do this it will undoubtably enhance your proposals’ relevance and impact.

Balancing ROI with Long-Term Value

It’s essential you educate the C-suite on the dangers of focusing exclusively on short-term ROI-driven performance marketing. Use empirical evidence and relevant case studies to highlight how such a perspective will undermine long-term brand value and subsequently the financial health of your organisation.

Summing Up

Convincing the C-suite to invest in branding requires a nuanced, subtle, and patient approach which integrates emotional narratives, robust data, political astuteness and canny understanding of how to align with strategic objectives. Simplifying complexity and being guided by empirical evidence will enhance your credibility and foster a stronger appreciation of the brand’s potential financial value—ultimately aligning with where the C-suite’s focus lies.

🎤 Book Darren to speak at your company event here.

Note: The image created for this post was based on a chatGPT-4 prompt. Quite revealing.

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