This week we are pleased to introduce a series of guest curated FFI Practitioner articles. First up is David Shaw, publishing director of Family Business Magazine. Thanks to David for highlighting his favorite must-read editions on family enterprise branding and trust.
I make a conscious effort to seek the products and services of family-owned companies. This means that when I go shopping, I buy Kiolbassa sausages, Lundberg Family Farms rice, and Bush’s Beans, among others. I stay in Marriott-owned and -operated hotels. My family and I have experienced the joys of a few of Herschend Family Entertainment’s theme parks. And this isn’t simply because I’ve been associated with Family Business Magazine for nearly 20 years. I trust family brands and have rarely had that trust violated. And I’m not alone, as the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer showed. Customers and employees trust family companies more than they do non-family companies.
The articles below, two of which refer to the Edelman Trust Barometer, are some of my favorites from FFI Practitioner, and look at branding and trust from a variety of useful perspectives.
By Moira Vetter
This is an excellent analysis of the power of a family business’ brand to carry values forward generationally, with a nice cautionary touch: “Often the original brand is deemed old fashioned, outdated, and out of touch with new consumers. While that is often the case, a strategic and intentional brand platform should uncover legacy qualities, ideas, and inspirations to serve as a foundation in re-imagining the new brand.”
OTHER STUDIES & SURVEYS
By Justin Blake
This piece outlines some of the key finds from the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, conducted at a time when ESG and other societal issues weren’t a major part of the corporate conversation. The key, and perhaps prescient, finding, for me: “Eighty percent of large family business employees say knowing the CEO’s personal values is important to building trust.”
FAMILY BUSINESS CASES
By Marta Widz and Benoît Leleux
This article examines family branding writ large, with a description of Pentland Brands and De Agostini from family businesses to a family of brands. Pentland’s purpose is powerful: “Building a family of brands for the world to love, generation after generation.” And it can apply, with small revision, to any family business: “Building a family brand for the world to love, generation after generation.”
By Isabel Botero and Tomasz Fediuk
This is an excellent piece which looks at the positives—and potential negatives—of branding the business as a family business. I tend to think that the positives outweigh the negatives, but it’s important to remember, as the authors note, “When choosing to use the family brand, any family member’s words and deeds can be used to interpret the alignment between the messaging and the associations created in the audience’s minds (even if the family member is not working in the family business).”
TECHNOLOGY & CYBERSECURITY
By Asher Noor
This article adds a positive look at social media and how it can reflect and enhance the brand, and it offers three approaches to convincing the older generations of the value of social media—storytelling, legacy, and even serving as an alternative to retirement: “It allows one to continue to have a voice, to be heard, and to converse in an age where face-to-face talk is going extinct.”
About the contributor
David Shaw is the publishing director for Family Business Magazine, Directors & Boards and Private Company Director. He is the co-creator of the Family Business Transitions conferences, the Private Company Governance Summit and Family Business Legacy. His goal is to help multi-generational family companies and enterprises remain vibrant and functional. He can be reached at [email protected].