Welcome acclaim for Brand Champions – a B2B recommended summer read

Brand Champions

Author: Ian P. Buckingham
Published by: Palgrave Macmillan

Gone are the days when ‘colleague engagement’ was tacked onto the end of a brand project. A couple of roadshows and free mousemats do not maketh a business fully aligned with its brand.

Ian P. Buckingham sets out the case for creating greater colleague commitment, treating the workforce as a powerful asset for brand growth. A sequel to Brand Engagement, this book supports integrated brand management within, and across, an organisation from boardroom down (not just passed between marketing, HR and internal communications).

What makes Brand Champions a recommended read is the richness of material on ‘how’ to build brand enthusiasm. Original cases (from Barbour to British Gas) make a refreshing change from the usual ‘cool brand’ suspects. There’s a treasure trove of tools for you to raid – from ‘brand superheroes’ to ‘brand eisteddfods’ – anything that links individual contribution to bigger brand purpose is to be warmly welcomed.

Helpfully, it’s a B2B behemoth that emerges as a world leader in building brand commitment. Cemex, for example, recognises growth through M&A means global brand engagement can’t happen by accident. Brand champions are seconded for months to spread Cemex culture. Line managers are responsible for ensuring employees provide a brand experience in line with brand strategy.

Critically, this book highlights the cost of neglecting brand commitment. Investing in understanding and motivating customers is a false economy unless colleagues are committed to delivering the brand. As Buckingham concludes, “Don’t spend money on advertising unless you can first back up your promises.”

Recommended by: Rosa Wilkinson, corporate brand consultant, Dragon Rouge

To take a look at the rest of the Summer reading shortlist which includes works by Campbell, Godin and Collins, follow this link.

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