This post authored by Taylor W. Wells, Communications Director with On The Mark Strategies

While conducting staff brand training for a credit union recently, a young member of the executive leadership team spoke up and said something profound. It’s sage advice for any bank or credit union entering new brand territory.

The individual in question said “when it comes to our brand, there is no org chart.”

Truer branding words were perhaps never spoken.

His statement came after a few moments of explanation in which I explained that every person at the credit union, regardless of position, branch or title, has a vital role to play in the brand. Taking it even deeper, I gave every employee in the room the unofficial title of “brand ambassador.”

The individual quoted above is absolutely right. When it comes to the brand of any bank or credit union, there really is no traditional org chart. Rather, branding is the responsibility of every person at the credit union from the CEO to the leadership team, frontline, backoffice, HR, marketing, IT, you name it. When done correctly, with spirit and enthusiasm, embracing the identity of the brand falls squarely on the shoulders of everyone at your bank or credit union. The brand org chart flows uniquely horizontally rather than vertically.

Any brand is only as strong as its weakest link and no individual at your bank or credit union wants to (or can’t afford to) be that weakest link. A brand is a result of how it is lived both between employees and the consumers they serve. When a bank or credit union adopts a brand, titles go out the window and everyone truly must become a brand ambassador (and this also applies outside traditional office hours and outside the four walls of your bank or credit union).

This certainly isn’t to say your executive leadership team doesn’t play a vital leadership role. In order for your brand to be successful, the leadership team must (believe it or not!) lead it. When the executive leadership team leads it, then staff will live it. Then and only then can your consumers come to love your brand.

But it’s really not about the org chart and who reports to who. When it comes to your brand, everyone reports to everyone as everyone is uniquely and equally responsible for the strength and integrity of your brand.