I have a hypothesis that marketing directors or CMOs who work for brands for a long time and move to work on new brands are at a disadvantage. Their worldviews or market views are colored by the strategies and value cultures of their previous brand. They can make assumptions born of previous brandscapes. Every brand has its own unique fingerprint. Sure, every brand has hands, fingers, knuckles and nails, but each fingerprint is a unique selling premise. And when a new sheriff is in town, and her/his market view is colored by brands past, it camouflages the reality.
If this hypothesis is correct, how does a new market leader go all tabula rasa on their new assignment? Drum roll. With a brand strategy engagement.
If a market director without true power goes takes a new assignment and asks the CEO for funds to conduct a brand strategy deep-dive and the response is, “That’s why we hired you,” it’s a bad sign. Or if the CEO says, “I know everything about the brand, don’t waste the money,” another bad sign.
As any good psychotherapist will tell you, no one ever got sicker because they looked inward and had better understanding of themselves.
New brand leaders can go off the rails when they make assumptions about customer care-abouts and brand good-ats based upon previous knowledge and products.