The CEO Leads the Brand

 The CEO Leads the Brand


By Carrie Brewer Martinez

Brand is the structure for communicating with the outside world and the promise of how a company will do business. The successful CEO knows how important brand recognition is, but also how important brand trust is in reaching customers and prospects, attracting and retaining employees and enhancing a company’s presence in the community. The subconscious makes the decision on how trustworthy something is based on emotions – trust in a brand is built through visual and aural cues.

Looks Like the Brand. Sounds Like the Brand.

The power of visual storytelling can express brand qualities and illicit emotions. The style of photography is extremely important in how a company communicates its brand attitude and values – it must be consistent. If the brand value is safety, the people in the photography will always depict exceptionally safe behavior. Ford trucks are tough and any photography of a Ford trucks feels tough, rugged and hard working, even if it isn’t overtly portrayed.

Don’t forget opportunities for the ear when winning over human emotion. Disney is master of this technique. Even Disney’s cruise ships’ horns play the first few notes of, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” reinforcing the magic feeling associated with the brand.

Retain, Recruit And Onboard Talent

Visually telling the story of the company’s “legend” via video compels new and existing employees to embrace the company’s mission and brand values. By putting the legend into a video format, all employees hear the same version of the story and can experience the emotion associated with the challenges that shaped the values of the company. This is especially important as more Millennials enter the work force seeking purpose in their work and connections to their workplace culture. This storytelling format can extend to employee appreciation by showcasing executives at all levels of the organization who embody the company’s brand values.

Connect With And Develop Leaders

The CEO is the leader of the brand and the employees are the brand ambassadors. Once employees are on-boarded and engaged in the company culture, they want to see and hear from the CEO on a regular basis. Regular video segments, where the CEO shares news and perspective on the brand, is especially effective if a company’s workforce is geographically dispersed. It is a personalized way to connect with employees and reinforce their role as brand ambassadors. The CEO video message is also a useful tool in leadership development training. A single message can be used to kick off training or the CEO can appear in multiple thought leadership segments dispersed throughout the training. It conveys a consistent, sincere message without the CEO having to physically be at every training session.

Advance Public Affairs

All companies need to interact with their communities, and at times a company’s growth can be completely dependent upon the support of the people in those communities. Here, the power of visuals and sound are especially useful in informing the community about the benefits of a project or initiative supporting the company’s and community’s future. The visual story can persuade by influencing emotion with the right photography, music and sound, and all the elements should convey the trust and promise of the brand. A well-told story that is true to the brand values can win approval from the various constituencies a company needs to move forward, whether it is community boards, government agencies, professional associations or Chambers of Commerce.

Carrie Brewer Martinez is President and CEO of CM Productions, Inc., an award winning, full service, script-to-screen video production company based in Dallas. CM Productions is a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE).



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