Bridging The Brand Alignment Gap

September 19, 2023


min read


Content Strategist

Leap Agency
Listen on Apple Podcasts

The Guest

Chris Wallace is the co-founder and president of Innerview, a corporate brand alignment consultancy that helps big brands translate their customer strategies into simple, clear and actionable plans for frontline teams to execute. He’s worked in a variety of marketing roles for well-known brands like Comcast and PGA, been an adjunct professor of marketing, he volunteers and sits on a committee for the Pennsylvania Big Brothers & Big Sisters and he’s here today to talk about the importance of brand alignment.

The Interview

In the world of marketing, sales, and advertising, there are many stakeholders, including clients, customer segments, and internal partners like staff and account managers. Chris started Innerview to address the internal aspects of branding, because how are you going to transmit a singular focus to audiences if the brand isn’t fully understood in-house?

“Everybody that works at Innerview has carried a bag before,” explains Chris. “They’ve had a quota, had to hit targets, so we’ve all been involved in the marketing hype-train. We’ve been run over and also taken the train to success. Marketing builds the brand and then sales takes that baton and runs the relay and connects with customers, and if that chain isn’t tight, it can all break down.”

One thing that Chris was adamant about stressing was the costs associated with marketing and the penalties for getting it wrong. The outputs of marketing, such as brand refreshes, new product features, new campaigns, these all are expensive and take up bandwidth and resources, so to not have a strong internal alignment on these things can end up being costly.

“There’s a lot of dollars in marketing and there is a lot of holes typically in those go-to market strategies,” says Chris. “We call what we do “marketing insurance” because if you’re gonna put money behind marketing, but you don’t make sure the links in the chain, C-Suite, Sales, Marketing, are strong, then you have wasted a bunch of resources and failed to transmit the value and worth of your ideas.”

Another benefit to internal brand alignment is that it not only helps your staff properly transmit the message, but also channel partners, media entities, and other external relay points in the marketing chain. The successful transmission of a brand vision from the corporate offices to the sales team and then to the customers, is a long and winding road, so marketers really need to make sure there is strong alignment from the very beginning.

Chris then highlights the importance of listening mechanisms in brand alignment. Being “data-driven” is important, but the problems start appearing when data shows up that causes doubt.

“One of the things I love about being an outside consultant is you can be more truthful,” says Chris. “People inside of orgs take the party line, and are usually not realistic about data-driven decision making when the data goes against that line. You can’t be data-driven when it's convenient and undata-driven when it’s not. Learn what you can from listening mechanisms, put the picture together, then make decisions.”

“We’re in a unique era as far as selling is concerned.” says Chris. “What we’ve seen is that people don’t have time to kick tires, and selling is about getting out of their own ways and using the gravity of customers to push them into buying. Customer experience mentality has replaced selling, which is about creating an environment that makes sales easier.”

To hear stories about brand alignment gone amazing (and awful), Chris’s one piece of advice for brand managers, and if Chris prefers Stevie Ray Vaughn over Jimi Hendrix, listen to the full episode at the links provided above and below.

The Links
Chris on LinkedIn

LISTEN TO THE FULL SHOW -> Stay tuned, stay curious and subscribe to What Gets Measured on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or add it as a Favorite on your podcast player of choice.