First to pull up a chair, at the head of Board Table, is the Managing Director. The tight-necked, moody, multitasking visionary.

Then the Finance Director sits down. Primed to spotlight and timidly advise on the business’s too much and too littles, as well as the unignorable financial red flags as they peep over the horizon.

The next chair to scrape backwards, made-ready for bottom accommodation, belongs to the Operations Director. Their management skills tessellating perfectly with the leadership skills of the MD.

Fourth to sit, always much later than is sensible, is the Marketing Director. Developing, delivering and measuring multiple strategies, tactics, messaging and creative execution by segment, territory and more.

One bottom may of course deliver on more than one role, especially in the very early days of a business.

Other chairs may house bottoms belonging to those focussed on HR, Sales, Sustainability and – super, super-rarely – Brand.

The Brand Director’s bottom sits directly between the MD and the Marketing Director, doing all she or he can to chisel and hone differentiated, distinctive and ultimately – owned – perceptions in the minds of segmented consumers. They make the brand so compelling and motivating as to affect consumer opinion and behaviour, aligned to the clearly defined, timed, granular organisational objectives of the business.

Except, none of this happens as it should.
Because there is no Brand Director’s chair.
And no bottom.

I’ve never, ever walked into a business with a Brand Director operating and thinking as I describe here. A Brand Director that understands exactly how they, and everybody else, fits – and purrs – together, for the benefit of the business.

I’m lucky though. Because I work in precisely that way with a small number of brilliant businesses in the role of Associate Brand Director. And later in 2024 and 2025, I’d like to work with two more. So if, in the next 24 months or so, a my-bottom-shaped-chair appears around your board table, please let me know.

PS. Sometimes, people tell me they print off things I write. They stick them on the wall (thank you). This two-minute read may be useful to early-growth businesses as your board table’s bottoms build and blossom.

Good luck.

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