This week I completed my DiSC profile evaluating my management style. There are many evaluation tools out there like this. I did a similar one a few years ago, so it was interesting for me to see how I’d evolved but also interesting to reflect on my profile and that of other brand leaders like me and the broader team around me who I interact with.
The consistencies between my past evaluation and my current one are that have the strongest leaning towards the styles in upper half of the below matrix. The more extroverted traits. That trend is something I often see with brand leaders like me. It doesn’t mean everyone is the same who is a brand manager – I’ve worked with very successful people who demonstrate other styles but I do often see brand marketers skew in this direction. Perhaps it’s due to the fact they are often the leaders encouraging and guiding a team towards generating and developing new ideas, and a more lively and sometimes forceful style prevails in that context.
The great thing about this exercise for me though is not about fitting into a mold of a ‘brand manager’. Rather it is about understanding myself and others around me. How great is it if you know the style of your boss, peer or direct report? You can then adapt how you interact with them to get the best out of them. As a brand manager needing to work with different functions like finance, supply chain, R+D, you’re always going to be someone who has to influence and collaborate with others like that and often be the leader of a team filled with diverse styles. Understanding your audience is a critical skill for any marketer and it shouldn’t be limited to your consumer, to be successful as a brand manager it also applies to your team.
My personal takeaway on this evaluation was how I’d evolved too. I few years ago my predominant energy was in the ‘Influence’ space. A space I continue to have strong energy in but is not currently where I have the strongest leaning. Now I am leaning into ‘Dominance’. I debated why this might be the case with another brand director I work with who saw exactly the same pattern in her evaluation too. We hypothesized this may be due to how we have grown in seniority over the years but also maybe down to the different context of organization we are in now versus previously. Either way, again, it prompted reflection that was healthy for any professional to consider to sharpen self-awareness and be the most effective team player and leader possible.
The exercise also got me to thinking about brands and how they conduct themselves. Having a clear view as a brand manager on the personality, tone and style of your brand helps you guide how to project a consistent image and build the brand over time. A useful research tool I’ve used before to help evaluate this for a brand is the Kantar NeedScope©. This tool maps where a brand is anchored on a matrix with axis that aren’t too dissimilar from the DiSC profile.
And you can see from some of these brands’ advertising executions why these are tonally mapped this way:
Knowing yourself, and your management style, as a brand manager is equally as important as knowing your consumer when it comes to operating effectively in the role. And knowing your brand, its personality and style, and staying true to it is also critical in building a consistent image over time. Tools like these can help us reflect, help us evaluate and lead us to a better awareness and consciousness of this. Taking the time to reflect, investing time in yourself and pausing to do this for your brand is something I believe can be very powerful. Have you profiled yourself and your brand lately?