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May 5, 2010

Ensuring Brand Stability in an Age of Strong Leadership

In an age where CEOs, Presidents, and Founders are at the forefront of their companies it is important to remember to separate your company brand from your leadership.  The biggest risk (barring some kind of scandal) is that if a company focus’ too strongly on its leadership, it can limit growth and promote a perception of a closed, top-down operation. Below are a three steps regarding what any company with a strong image from its key leader(s) should do:

1. Branding. You should try to push the company brand independently from the leader. This does not mean that the two shouldn’t be connected, but rather that the leader’s role in the company’s brand is a part of the story not the whole thing. Company’s should consider developing guidelines as to when and how the leader’s image/story should be a part of marketing material.

2. Cultivate strong senior leadership. Retain reputable and experienced senior leadership who can fill-in for the key leader when he/she is unavailable or can “pinch hit” if for some reason an important external contact does not gel with the key leader’s personality. A situation you may often run into is that an external contact may be focused or have a background in a specific clinical area – if you know this ahead of time, then try to match this external contact with a member of your senior leadership team that has a similar background.

3. Don’t micromanage. Now this recommendation will vary based on the sizeof your facility (the smaller you are the harder it is to follow this rule), in any case it is paramount that the key leader allow senior leadership to handle day-to-day activities. This does not mean the key leader should not be aware of what is going on, but rather that he/she trusts the people he/she has hired. This helps develop a company brand both internally and externally, as well as, developing senior leadership.

 To learn more about our marketing approach and how we can help you facility branding visit Soyring's Marketing Practice page.

 See our quote in SHRM below or read about our healthcare branding advice for SHRM at the link.

 "Higman and his family run a clinical health care consulting firm that does HR consulting work—Soyring Consulting—named for Denice Soyring-Higman, R.N., based in St. Petersburg, Fla.“We recently hired and opened up a communications-related practice at our consultancy,” said Higman. In the process, he said, he was advised to “try to push the company brand independently from the principal.” This doesn’t mean that the two shouldn’t be connected, he noted, but rather that the principal’s role in the company’s brand is a part of the story, not the whole thing."

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