A Next-Gen Perspective: The Board’s Role in Brand Oversight

Episode Summary

A brand can be a powerful driver of company value, as a quick survey of the world’s most powerful companies (e.g., Apple, Google, Nike, Disney) will demonstrate. So, what’s the board’s role in overseeing—even shaping—that brand? What unique perspective can a next-gen director add to these board discussions?

In this episode of “Inside America’s Boardrooms,” Tara Walpert Levy, vice president of Agency and Brand Solutions at Google and YouTube and board member with Bloomin’ Brands, discusses why brand oversight is rarely added to the board agenda—and why it probably should be.

“If you could design a crash course around brand oversight,” asks host TK Kerstetter, “what would it entail?”

Amid a landscape of business disruption, Levy explains how brand definition and brand value must be closely aligned with discussions of long-term strategy. She outlines three key aspects that all boards should consider when overseeing the company’s brand(s)—especially when there are multiple brands under the organizational umbrella (e.g., GM, Microsoft, Bloomin’ Brands).

Every board looks…at the P&L and what’s going on in the financials of the business. But the brand is critical to driving long-term business health. Do [boards] have brand goals and brand metrics that they are typically looking at…to make sure that they are ahead of what are likely to be signs of business [stress] that show up in your P&L a little bit later?

As a member of the Next Gen Board Leaders Advisory Council, Levy also shares her experience as a next-gen director. She joined the board of Bloomin’ Brands in her late 30s, roughly 25 years younger than the average S&P 500 board member (2018 Spencer Stuart Board Index).

  • Why was she pursued by the Bloomin’ Brands board? What was her recruitment process like?
  • What unique perspective can next-gen directors bring to the boardroom regarding culture oversight and reputation management?

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