Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Corporate Board as Digital Brand Enhancer

The BoDs can become the corporate brand advocate and enhancer via pulling enough resources and pushing the business model of technology, trustworthiness, and innovation.

The Board of Directors is an interactive change agent and influential brand enhancer that represents the organization, stockholders, and senior management. If a Board is to fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities to its stakeholders, it needs to take a professional and a structural approach to assessing strategies, prioritizing agendas, advising changes, overseeing risks, monitoring performance, advocating reputation and business brand. The Board of Directors is the top leadership team who can make the great influence on shaping digital mindset and advocating changes. BoDs can also monitor the organizational performance and enforce the business brand via asking the following questions.

What are you trying to accomplish? Digital means to break down the past and lead toward the future with a quantum leap. The corporate board plays a critical role in setting guidelines, envisioning the future of the business, overseeing business strategy, monitoring performance, practicing governance, as well as enforcing business reputation and brand management. Corporate branding includes how to develop a set of practices for promoting the brand name of a corporate entity. The corporate board can contribute to brand enhancement as a coherent effort of overseeing the business vision and strategy. An ultra-modern board can set a clear choice among future scenarios that advocate advancement and promote the organizational brand and encourage positive behaviors. It is important to envision “To-Be” state first because it creates a paradigm shift in digital management discipline. When building the future state, make sure that you break it down into looking at the ideal future first, which brand will you build? Customer-centricity, innovation champion or leading with speed? By envisioning “To-Be” state and clarifying brand core, the board and business management can work together to communicate a clear message down to the different level of organization and ensure the entire business working in the same direction for strategy management, digitally connect key resources and assets in the context for brand building.

Are you on the right path?
For successful branding, basically, the BoDs can make a comprehensive list of the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, goals, and objectives, do “SWOT” analysis, add “trends” for zooming into the future more clearly, monitoring the corporate performance and discovering business potential closely. The first thing board members need to do, is to have or gain the experience and expertise to know with some certainty how the business of the corporation is conducted. They have to leverage information to predict, bring up the outlier’s viewpoint to see things differently. Boards must continually evaluate the management team to determine if the right strategy and culture are thriving in the organization and to proactively drive the future growth of the business and build a strong corporate brand. Board directors need to be able to guide senior management team through effective questioning, coaching, advising, and assessment of the business strategy, vision statement, and brand message. The real challenge is to understand where and how you can and should improve to get the biggest effect and scale up across the digital ecosystem effortlessly. Focus on what the proposed initiative will be doing and ensure they are on the right path to achieve the expected goals and build a solid business brand.

Is “what you look” consistent with “who you are”: The corporate brand is the consistent image the organization present to its customers, employees, business partners or other stakeholders. Not only when they walk into your store, interact with your product and speak to your staff, but also when they get in contact via multiple purchasing channels. The entire customer journey and experience they have of your brand at each stage needs to be mapped out clearly to be sure that your customer is getting the best service, and that their experience is consistent, on-brand, relevant and refreshing. Thus, the corporate culture plays an important role in building a consistent business brand. Culture is 'established' by those at the top, the corporate board, as well as the top leadership team, for setting the tone of the corporate culture. A cohesive culture creates team synergy, catalyze digital transformation and improve overall organizational maturity. The board of directors needs to verify: Do you have all (if possible) audiences at every level of enterprise weighed-in with delight to build a brand? What’s in customers’ mind when they think about your brand? Or do you ever have a brand? The commitment is that we are all in this together and have our passions focused on a goal with a cohesive leadership to build a strong business brand. Culture and brand have an intricate relationship. Culture becomes the way you discover yourselves, do business to delight customers. It is your brand promise.

The board of directors role affects most through collective mindsets, congruent behaviors, continuous endorsement of the change and regular communication to keep the momentum. A digital-ready board has the advantage of pulling enough resources and pushing the business model of technology, trustworthiness, prepare and launch change, innovation, and become the corporate brand advocate and enhancer.

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