It might be easier to start with what I do NOT mean when I say BRAND SECURITY.
Brand Security is not:
- The official duties of the logo police that make sure you are using the right colors and aren’t replacing the tag line
- A line of code to make sure nobody swipes stuff off the website
- Permission for anyone to stomp on anyone else’s turf
- Buying new tech tools that make life even more complex and onerous
Then there is what I DO mean.
Brand Security is:
- A holistic strategy that applies process and technology to transparently aggregate, analyze and share customer signals and data, secure that data, permissions, consent and intelligence while securing the reliability, sustainability and durability of a customer’s relationship with a brand
- An intentional technology framework that prevents and mitigates the impact of intrusions, infringements and incursions on a customer’s engagements and interactions
Brand security unifies the intentions of marketing, service and sales to deliver consistently relevant, personal and valuable interactions with the objectives of IT, operations and security to deliver transparency, proactive protection, monitoring, reaction and remediation.
Brand Security is a new epic mix tape.
Remember back to what made a truly epic mix tape? There was a theme that held everything together. There were sections and structure where songs blended together to tell a story…usually about something really angsty. The most memorable mixtapes had a purpose…the break-up consolation mix, the girls-night pre-party warm up, the crushing so hard it hurts mix. They took thought and consideration to create but were easy to listen to and appreciate.
Mix tapes were never meant to be a random mash up of songs you happened to like. It wasn’t just hitting the record button when the radio was on. The epic mix tape remains the one location where NWA, Garth Brooks and Bon Jovi make perfect sense together. A mix tape was a STORY made up of dozens of different, distinct parts working together under a single theme.
Brand Security’s story – it’s true purpose – is to provide a new cross-functional business strategy that elevates the ongoing efforts of IT, Marketing and Security to establish customer engagements and channels enriched with trusted data and operations. It shifts the focus away from the conglomeration of tools and technologies conveniently tucked into silos. It asks marketing to embrace a security-by-design methodology that respects and values customer data, consent and intent while asking security technologists to abandon a compliance-first mindset in lieu of a brand and buyer-first action plan.
A new Brand Security framework helps define structure by aligning and connecting strategies and solutions into layers of tools intentionally addressing the key aspects of trust. The first layer of the framework intentionally clusters strategies, operational processes and platforms that empower product development, brand engagement and customer experience together. The second layer aligns the strategies, processes and systems that collect, manage and deploy permissions, including customer expectations for consent and control.
Together, these layers empower and enhance the action layer, which seeks to more proactively and transparently deploy customer engagements and interactions while feeding new actions, permissions and promises. The promise, action and permission layers are enveloped in a proactive protection layer that optimizes delivery while securing everything from endpoints to perceptions.
Brand security must become a blended cross-functional view so that champions emerge to address everything from budget to impact on sales and the bottom line. These are no longer isolated discussions for IT and security operations to debate, compromise on and then roll out.
This is change management at the highest levels of the organization, demanding that all CxOs align around a security and protection posture as part of a brand security strategy that directly affects profitability. By delivering exceptional customer engagements and interactions, brand trust is boosted and brand security strategy is advanced. Half measures become negative headlines and faking it becomes the next hot meme on Twitter.
So why do I think THIS new mix tape will be the epic shift we need to address a new wave of business and customer expectation? Because it already HAS worked. Remember the not too distant future when organizations were trying to unravel the mystery called GDPR? Time and again I heard tales of executives attempting to architect change to meet the requirements outlined in the massive tome on their own. Fighting the fight for budget while pushing for transformation in the name of compliance.
Alone, CMOs, CIOs and CISOs fought uphill battles based in their own cost centers. But unified, the asks became more about transformation and less about one-off tick boxes for compliance. They became strategic plans that attached business KPIs and outcomes. It delivered tangible cross-functional plans and expectations the CEO, COO and CFO could understand and back. Together, they could kick the can down the road. It will take all functions focused on the same goal to achieve success. With brand security, marketing, service, sales, IT and security will each need to leave their comfort zones of functional fiefdoms in order to comingle strategies and stacks.
Brand security is a new epic mix tape. The theme is an ode to the customer with the wildly different genres of marketing, IT and security all blending together in a way that finally makes sense. Pop it in. Let the different genres and songs wash over you. Let it become an ear worm. But most importantly remember that today’s customer is redefining and setting the exchange rate on their new currency called trust. If we keep sending them recordings of the radio and not a coherent, relevant story like Brand Security, someone else will.