What’s in a brand?

Your mission, voice, tone, and community are all important parts of your brand. But getting that brand to grow comes down to having the right leadership on board—and for many companies, that requires some serious hunting.

But that worthwhile effort will yield better brand growth and customer engagement as a result, so how can we get there?

In this blog, we’ll talk about the crucial link between leadership and brand success, what key leadership qualities you should look out for, how leaders can catapult customer engagement, and how a fractional leader can offer you many of the benefits you’ve come to expect out of a full-time leader.

What’s the Link Between Leadership and Brand Growth?

While marketing leadership isn’t the only variable in the creation of your brand image, they’re an important pillar in the process. Effective leaders are responsible for articulating a clear and inspiring vision, motivating employees, and attracting customers who share similar aspirations. 

Leaders are also responsible for the successful execution of your brand strategy. A vision is nothing if no one sees it—so effectively communicating your brand mission and approach to the right audience at the right time will make all the difference.

That means leaders need to know who your audience is, how they make their purchasing decisions, what they think about other brands in your industry, and what potential barriers they might have with your brand. 

These efforts and others will all help you stand out in a crowded market regardless of what products or solutions you’re offering. Your competitors are likely offering quality goods and services, too, but the tipping point for your brand might come down to shared values between you and your audience—and the right leader can help you find that clinching niche.

Related: Building Your Own Brand: Unleashing Your True Potential

Key Leadership Qualities for Driving Brand Growth

Successful leaders possess a combination of essential qualities that you’ll want to look out for as you evaluate your options. Remember that not all leaders are created equal, and if you need help figuring out who to pick,
click here for some important considerations.

But in general, growth-driven leaders will exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Visionary Thinking: Leaders who see beyond immediate challenges and envision future opportunities are better equipped to steer their brands toward long-term success.
  • Adaptability: Adaptability allows leaders to pivot strategies swiftly in response to changing consumer behaviors, new (and often more nimble) competitors, economic shifts, and more.
  • Integrity: Upholding ethical standards and transparency builds trust among customers and stakeholders, establishing a solid foundation for brand loyalty.
  • Innovation: Leaders who encourage a culture of innovation foster creativity among their teams, leading to breakthroughs in products, services, and customer experiences.

There’s one more characteristic you’ll want to look out for that’s hard to strictly calculate, and that’s the ability to take risks. No brand made it big without taking risks, but knowing when to take a strategic risk is what sets great leaders apart from the good.

Related: Strategic Leadership: Balancing Risk and Opportunity

How Can Leaders Enhance Customer Engagement?

Effective leaders prioritize understanding their customers’ needs and preferences, of course. But stellar leaders go several steps above to make sure their customers feel valued and understood on a more personal level.

First, good leaders will lead with empathy. That looks like touching on values that matter to the customer (e.g., environmental sustainability or giving back to local communities), using strong emotional marketing intelligence (EMI) to speak their customers’ language, and accepting and responding to feedback thoughtfully.

Forging deeper connections also means knowing the right technology to use. Technology enables brands to engage with customers in more meaningful ways, from personalized marketing campaigns to seamless omnichannel experiences. More specifically, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are helping brands become more nimble, reach more targets, and personalize the customer journey.

Click here to learn how AI can help you engage better with your customers.

Finally, successful brands cultivate communities of loyal customers who not only support but actively promote the brand. Leadership plays a crucial role in nurturing these communities through initiatives that foster dialogue, participation, and a sense of belonging.

But through all this talk about what an effective leader does, how can you find one who can do it all—while staying within your budget?

Related: ​​How a Fractional CMO Can Help Grow Your Business

The Fractional Marketing Leadership Difference

Fractional CMOs are a budget-friendly way to inject fresh perspectives and strategic insights into your marketing efforts. And because the fractional model uses the shared cost approach, you only pay partial costs while reaping all the benefits you’d expect from a full-time marketing leader.

These professionals offer targeted leadership on specific projects or initiatives, complementing your existing teams and working alongside them to not just develop a strategy, but stay on to execute it thoughtfully.

Unlike a third-party agency or analyst, fractional CMOs are fully integrated with your team, help you: 

  • Conduct buyer interviews to get to know your audience
  • Balance your budget to see what you should prioritize
  • Select and onboard the right AI tools and solutions
  • Identify what sets your brand apart and capitalize on that
  • Set and execute goals using tailored marketing strategies
  • …and so much more. 

Click here to browse real-world stories of success featuring your peers.

Find Your Perfect Leader

Marketing leadership isn’t out of reach—in fact, you could find the best fit for your brand in just 30 minutes.

Schedule an introductory call with one of our fractional CMOs to realize the difference strong leadership can make.