Magazine article Marketing

Editor's Comment: Brands Are Taken at Face Value

Magazine article Marketing

Editor's Comment: Brands Are Taken at Face Value

Article excerpt

Does the public really care who runs a company? Should it affect the price of shares if a founder and spokesman steps down?

A company comprises several elements including - crucially - a management team responsible for the day-to-day decisions it makes, so I don't think it should.

However, I am, it seems, in the minority here: we often read of wobbly share prices that are based on nothing more than changes - or even rumours of them - in the personal lives of company founders.

Used as a marketing tool, personality can give a company an edge over faceless rivals; consumers feel they know the brand a little better through its founder. In today's culture of openness, firms with a long-standing culture of secrecy have been forced to grapple with increased intrusion into the lives of those behind the boardroom door However, there is some doubt whether this 'charisma offensive' is always the right way to go.

This week we look at how using your founder as the face of a brand is possibly a great strategy, but one that could backfire should they fall ill or leave (p14). …

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