Managing Brand Portfolios: How Strategies Have Changed

Sylvie Laforet
University of Sheffield, Management School

John Saunders
Aston Business School, Aston University

INTRODUCTION

“Safeguard the brand and corporate reputation.” Niall Edgecliffe-Johnson, Reuters chairman, on board priorities

At Last, Brands are a boardroom issue! The reason for this elevation is the revelation that a firm's reputation has the same risk and returns as its financial situation. A recent survey by a U.S. insurance company of 2,000 public and private companies found reputation risk as the single biggest business hazard (Aon, 2001). One leading bank, Barclays, has responded by forming a Brand and Reputation Committee that puts reputation on a par with financial and operational risk (Maitland, 2004). Chaired by the group vice chairman, the committee's role is to think “about our worst nightmares and seeking to position to prevent them happening.”