Put Your Wrench On The Branding Team


So you’ve decided to to start taking a serious look at your corporate brand and you are left with the task of assembling your branding team. Your branding team is a group of individuals pulled from your brand’s stakeholders. They would be gleamed from the three essential groups: employees, suppliers and customers.

One of the issues you will have at the end of your branding process is buy-in among employees. Stand back and take a visual on your employee group. Most are your garden-variety employee, but a few, while good workers are out-spoken and quick to judge. Other employees look to them for direction. They typically see initiatives coming down from the corner office as “just more work”. They do their best to put a negative spin on the initiatives and are a drag to getting things done. We call these folks, “wrenches” because they throw a monkey wrench into everything you do.

The trick is to include the Wrenches in the branding process. The theory is simple and basic – you want the wrenches to become advocates for the brand initiatives. If they are part of the solution, then they will use their energies to push it through to the employees stakeholders. Just imagine how empowered they will feel being included in the high-level branding sessions with the leaders of the company in attendance – actually wanting their valuable input.

Now, when the brand process is complete and ready to roll roll out to the employees, you have their key mouthpiece on your team. That monkey wrench is now a brand hero – everybody wins.


  1. I agree you need supporters internally to drive any branding initiatives forward but I’m not sure I would involve them all upfront. Certainly to see if the branding is way off or doesn’t fit with what customers are thinking because as you say, a lot of people could put a negative spin on things – especially at the “ideas” stage.

  2. I believe that before your brand story even reaches the customers, it has to be believed internally. If your wrenches aren’t part of the solution, it’s just harder to get buy in. Since you need members from each of the stakeholder groups on the branding team, it benefits the team to include these people. I reduces a future barrier. Remember this is essentially for the internal component of strengthening your corporate brand.

    Also the problem I’m suggesting is not at the ideas stage but AFTER all the hard work is done, and management wants the staff to embrace the initiative – without the wrenches on-board, it might be an uphill battle. Including them in the solution changes the tone completely.

    I know when we’ve done this, management is a little apprehensive at first, but as soon as one of their (the wrenches’) suggestions is accepted among the audience in the room, you can see their (the wrenches) attitude changing. Also think about the effect it has on developing a genuine brand experience, if “everyone” is included in the process, not just the easy picks.

    Thank you for your opinion, BPG.

  3. Without all stakeholder’s input, how does the solution truly reflect the brand? Thank you Wendy.

  4. Well said, Ed!

    I have worked with a number of companies on branding exercises and the ones that truly work in the end are the ones that engage the employees as soon as possible. Too many companies have the marketing team and senior executives building the brand visuals and messages and then wonder why the customer isn’t getting it. Without the employees full participation in what your brand represents, the customer isn’t getting the benefit of a consistent message.

  5. Thanks, you gave me much space for pondering over this issue