Marketing Leadership

Why strong brands need marketing leaders not consensus builders

It’s a fact that original ideas come from individuals, not groupthink. A group can hone and improve an idea, but groups do not originate ideas. A company can provide an environment for original ideas to surface, but a company doesn’t have original ideas. Strong brands need original ideas like crops need sun and water.

Being a marketing leader in a business is never easy. There are so many competing forces at play. Investors, the board, and employees to name a few. The path of least resistance is to adjust your path to these competing forces. To take on all
the feedback. But this is the path to stagnation, conformity and ultimately waste and failure.

Strong brands, original brands, need strong marketing leaders to nurture and hone original ideas and protect them from the forces of conformity.

I’m passionate about the power of marketing and communications to allow a brand to outperform the market and much larger competitors. To do this, you need original ideas that will cut through.

Unfortunately, too often organizations lack the internal marketing leadership to be original. They are too preoccupied with consensus and keeping everyone happy. They are the ones that organise vast committees of people to approve the path forward.

As a consultancy, you can spot leaders and a pathway to brand leadership a mile off. It starts with a confident marketing leader who is prepared to back an original idea. A marketing leader who plays to win rather than playing not to lose. They do consult, you have to, but they do with a sense of purpose and determination to back originality. This compares to marketing facilitators who see their role as primarily about keeping all the stakeholders happy.

Marketing leaders are sometimes fighting a losing battle especially if they have to operate in a command and control environment where keeping the CEO happy is more important than being right. But their time will come and they will find an environment that rewards originality even if it is a move or two away.

But for all of those strong marketing leaders who strive to win and strive for originality, I salute you. You make working in the creative industry such a joy. You are inspiring, and you will be rewarded with marketing partners who will go over and above to support you and drive change. Why because let’s face it that’s what gets us out of bed in the morning.

Forget not having the most resources, because great ideas can deliver a disproportionate impact. Solid, safe, workmanlike ideas might keep internal stakeholders happy in the short term but won’t enable you to win. At the very best, they will allow you to hold your current position and do so at a premium. But let’s face it, that is rarely enough because everyone else will be moving forward.