About 15 years ago while I was still floundering around in the pool of corporate bureaucracy, I told the Monsterco I was working for that we needed to find out more about how great service brands were built (my company not being one of them).
I suggested an extensive itinerary that would take me around the world to meet some brand pioneers working for outperforming brands to understand what was behind the building and sustenance of their success. I met with Virgin, Singapore Airlines, British Airways, McDonald’s, IBM, Southwest Airlines, Ford and Peninsula Hotels among others. Pretty cool — get paid for learning others’ brand secrets! So off I trotted to Europe, the States and beyond, and a fascinating and eye-opening trip it was too.
On my return, the deputy chief executive asked me what the single most critical success factor was for building sustainably successful service brands. Despite the number and complexity of brand-building elements across the organisation and customer-facing experiences, the answer was pretty consistent: the desire and ability of the CEO to assume the role of CBO – chief brand officer.
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