January 9th, 2016
You stare out the window, proud of the view from your corner office, reflecting on your climb to this lofty perch.
Newsflash: Customers don’t care about you, your rank, or your perks.
It’s amazing how myopically smug execs and employees become over time. They obsess with their org charts, processes, products, and beer blasts.
Warning: Internal focus and smugness can ruin any company, at any stage of its life.
I’ve had this exchange multiple times with so-called “customer service” reps in large and small companies alike; I’ll bet you can relate:
Rudov: There’s an error in my invoice.
CS Rep: Let me explain how our company works.
Rudov: I don’t care how your company works. It’s irrelevant to me. Your job is to help me, despite your internal structure.
Classical example of an entroprise, a chaotic enterprise, a rudderless corporation that has no obvious reason to exist, other than to impress its competitors. Talk to the rank-and-file: they’re just hoping the paychecks and health insurance won’t end.
True CEO of Your Enterprise
Last October, in the largest tech deal ever, Dell acquired EMC Corporation for $67B. Now the layoffs begin. Michael Dell, CEO of this private behemoth, explained this acquisition with lots of financial-speak and formulaic bloviating about technological synergies.
Not once, however, did Mr. Dell mention customers and how this merger will benefit them.
Reality: the Dell-EMC combination will not work, regardless of how cool it appears on paper, if it doesn’t offer a unique brand — a customer-validated value proposition.
The brand is the true CEO of your enterprise: every employee, process, and product reports to it. With a weak CEO, there’s chaos — and bloated costs of sales, capital, and media.
Bottom line: the brand outranks you and everything else in your company. It is the reason your company exists. The brand determines what kind of people, processes, and products are required — and superfluous.
Parting Advice to CEOs
Until you make it crystal-clear to everyone in your organization, with visible proof, that the brand is boss over people, processes, and products, your firm will operate suboptimally — which will come as great news to your competitors and a red alert to your shareholders.
Branding is the CEO’s #1 priority.
POSTSCRIPT #1: Carl Icahn Forces Brandless Xerox to Split Into Two (01.29.16)
About the Author
Marc Rudov is a branding advisor to CEOs,
producer of MarcRudovTV, and author of the book,
Be Unique or Be Ignored: The CEO’s Guide to Branding.
© 2016 Marc H. Rudov. All Rights Reserved.