Are You Aware of the Internal Risk your Brand is Exposed To?


Brand marketing professionals delve into the structural issues of developing a brand and invest heavily in the “brand building” process. A process that’s common across industries. Whilst there are loads of interpretations of the term “branding” and there are myriad ways of structuring a brand building process; there are few key internal brand risk areas that can affect a brands’ reputation, image and sustainability if not evaluated and acted upon. These are the areas that an organisation’s C-suite, business managers and marketers, which need to be taken care of prior to managing the external risk factors affecting the brand.

As we kick off this New Year I felt it would be proper to start the year touching upon the internal risk factors that affect a brand’s identity & that oft get missed out in the development and delivery of the brands’ promise.

The key internal areas where brand risk, typically is, looked at are usually:
1. Poor manufacturing quality
2. Poor customer service

But these are not the only areas of internal brand risk. A larger threat emanates from unseen activities which govern the daily functioning of an organisation.

From an organisational perspective, internally, there are three critical areas that affect the brands’ identity and its sustainability. Three areas that require the organisations’ management team to undertake strategic soul-searching with absolute transparency:

  1. Leadership:
  • Is there strategic clarity in business direction from the organisational leadership?
  • Is the leadership present & leading key organisational projects?
  • Are employees engaged with the leadership?

      2.  Authenticity, Trust & Transparency:

  • Is the work culture based on employees being encouraged to be authentic, transparent and develop trust on fellow colleagues’ expertise in jointly delivering business results?

      3.  Key Brand Deliverables based on Business Purpose or Mission:

  • Is there a clear ‘line-of-sight’ between the mission statements and key brand deliverables?

These three areas are of critical importance in developing a sustainable brand identity. Given the rising growth of social media usage and continuous news of eroding corporate governance, the issues of management transparency, trust and employee-engagement are today, at the forefront of brand identity development for any organisation in any industry that is interested in long-term sustainability.

The value in undertaking this journey of evaluating the internal brand risk is akin to that of preparing for a marathon.  Just as a marathon runner builds up stamina, muscle strength and then sets the pace in order to achieve the time target of the run, similarly asking these hard questions gets an organisation to set up a robust brand which is then able to engage its stakeholders and deliver profitably.

The question is will we pause in our hectic schedules to have a look at ourselves as its us, the people, that make up the processes and the experience that comes back as the brands’ image & reputation?