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Put a CBO in your life!

The figure of the Chief Brand Officer should already be in place in all companies. It is essential for the proper functioning, good management, coherence, and development of any corporate or product brand. 


By Fabricio Mancebo, Creative & Brand Senior Manager at Neom Sindalah Island

Put a CBO in your life!

It is a key element that must link general management, people and culture, marketing, communication, product, sustainability, technology, and innovation. In my previous role as CBO of Ecolife®, we were able to achieve the challenging feat of transforming our B2B brand into an Ingredient Brand for the fashion sector. 

The implementation of the Chief Brand Officer position by the management team was instrumental in this success. It is widely acknowledged that only a select few brands, including Gore-Tex, Intel, and Lycra, have managed to become an ingredient brand.  At Ecolife, we've made the transition from working solely with textile industrialists to collaborating directly with the sustainability, product, and marketing teams of over 150 final brands, including Desigual, El Ganso, Hugo Boss, Diesel, Grupo Albini, and Decathlon. In just three years, we've successfully executed a millimetric strategy that united all areas of the company under a single focus, enabling us to accompany major players in the fashion sector as an ingredient brand.

This global brand expert must articulate all these areas, as he or she is the nexus that brings together the company's messages and tools so that everything makes sense and its purpose becomes a reality because coherence is the key. A well-constructed brand communicates and expresses itself in the same way, internally and externally, in all areas and channels, with the same common thread, the same values, the same personality, and the same way of doing, acting, and speaking.

In many companies, it is easy to find a total incoherence between their messages and behaviors in different environments, digital, retail, and commercial.... But above all, there is a lot of internal incoherence. I have seen companies that talk about innovation, transparency, and cohesion, and when we do the internal audit, before the strategy, the reality tells us the opposite, there is no message, no attitude, no purpose, no tools, and nothing like that. This is where the big problem arises. Because employees and collaborators (and customers, of course) are the souls, the essence, and the engine of our brand, undoubtedly its best prescribers. 

The technological part is the other major challenge. The Chief Brand Officer must have a perfect knowledge of the different scenarios he or she is confronted with. It is no longer just a question of design marketing and communication plans. The professionals in charge of this management must know about innovation, the use, and impact of artificial intelligence in all its variants, generative AI, the use of voice, machine learning, and robotics on our brand. They should also be aware of blockchain or quantum computing applications and, together with other experts, promote and guide the path towards corporate sustainability. This does not mean that he or she replaces the heads of the various departments, but rather that he or she supports them, and must be able to guide, contribute, and redirect when the focus is lost in terms of the brand's purpose and essence. Because everything communicates.

This expert must be a polymath, a person who is well-prepared in different areas, in the past, present, and future, and who offers solutions. Now, more than ever, everything is moving at breakneck speed and we need to anticipate and take care of even the smallest detail if we want to have a strong brand that points the way and is an example to follow.

The presence of a CBO in senior management ensures that brand strategy is aligned with business objectives and that marketing strategies deliver for the brand and the business. By understanding consumer psychology and market trends, the CBO can make deeper and more meaningful connections. This translates into customer loyalty, market differentiation, and ultimately sustainable growth.

The presence of a CBO in senior management ensures that brand strategy is aligned with business objectives and that marketing strategies deliver for the brand and the business.

In the age of transparency, authenticity, and disruption are invaluable assets. This is where the CBO shines: overseeing consistency across all customer touchpoints, looking for new ways to apply its expertise across sectors and markets, and coordinating everything from digital presence to customer service to product design. By maintaining brand integrity, the CBO cultivates trust in an often-skeptical business world.

The Chief Brand Officer is much more than a fancy title. It is the conductor of a company's identity, voice, and perception. From creating emotional connections to driving financial growth, their influence is undeniable. So the next time you see someone in this role, remember that they are weaving the threads of a narrative that will drive business success (assuming the rest of the company does its homework) in a challenging and ever-evolving marketplace.

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