The CEO branding mix

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Journal of Business Strategy, ISSN: 0275-6668, Vol: 36, Issue: 6, Page: 22-28

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Fetscherin, Marc
Business, Management and Accounting; Business; CEO; Appearance; Branding; Image; Reputation; Corporate; Company; Advertising and Promotion Management; Business Administration, Management, and Operations; Business and Corporate Communications
article description
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to outline and discuss the main elements of the chief executive officer (CEO) that affect financial and non-financial aspects of companies. CEO reputation and corporate reputation and performance are intertwined concepts. It presents a conceptual framework, the “4Ps of the CEO branding mix”, and shows how they individually and collectively influence company reputation and performance. Design/methodology/approach – An extensive inter-disciplinary research was conducted. Four primary elements of the CEO (performance, personality, prestige and persona) were identified that positively or negatively impact companies. Findings – CEO reputation (prestige) can not only positively but also negatively impact companies and celerity CEO’s are no different. There are certain personality traits, such as honesty and humility, which are mostly associated with positive company outcomes, while other personality traits, such as machiavellianism and narcissism, seems to negatively impact companies. Certain aspects related to the CEO as a persona, such as CEO tenure (experience) and education, and also CEO’s physical appearance and facial expressions impact CEO’s image and, subsequently, company reputation and performance. Finally, this paper shows that CEO performance is more than company financial and market performance and includes aspects such as strategy execution or CEO succession planning. Practical implications – The four ′P’s of the CEO branding mix provide a useful framework for CEO’s and the corporate communications department to developing a consistent and comprehensive CEO and corporate communication and branding strategy. Originality/value – This paper contributes as it outlines the various aspects and elements which impact CEOs image and reputation. The four P’s serve as a useful framework for CEO’s as well as corporate communication departments to systematically measure and manage the CEO’s image and reputation and, consequently, company reputation and performance. It forms the basis for developing a consistent and comprehensive CEO and company communication and branding strategy.