Look at the ever-present Apple logo, and Steve Jobs in his black turtleneck and trademark glasses comes to mind. Think of the brand Virgin, and Sir Richard Branson with his signature mane and fiery eyes is sure to pop up in your head. Read about the latest Tesla car model, and one is sure to start thinking about Elon Musk with all his famous musings about the future of humanity.
And there are plenty more. Plenty more of such highly-rated CEOs, who not only displayed great business acumen, but also upheld beliefs and values that have proven to be highly aligned with their respective organisations, over time.
Now, do note that the existence of such colourful, memorable CEO personalities is not a prerequisite for business success — not all money-spinning companies have CEOs that are well-known public figures and able to connect with their organisations in terms of beliefs and values. However, for companies that do have such inspirational leaders at the helm, the advantages and benefits in terms of marketing and profitability can very well turn out to be tremendously rewarding.
We call this phenomenon ‘CEO branding’. In terms of strictly dollars and cents, strong CEO branding can become a deal breaker in terms of helping companies attract investors and customers. Beyond that, strong CEO branding contributes towards the creation of an emotional connection and resonance with target consumer audiences.
We have with us Ascendant Group who promote executive leaders, retired athletes and executive leaders via CEO and executive branding. Lately, the company opened its offices in Newark, Wilmington, Delaware, Cairo, Egypt, Lebanon, the Netherland, Nova Scotia, Canada.
The firm also has a global practice aiding CEOs in Switzerland, Peru, China, and the MENA (the Middle East and North Africa) these regions have assured global visibility. Davis was called down to participate in CEO and small business forums in Egypt, India, The Caribbean, and the White House and the Ascendant Group is proud to be considered as experts on CEO and executive branding.
Under the leadership of Davis, Ascendant Group is recognized as a founding member of the Forbes Agency Council, a leading invitation-only group for top PR and advertising executives. Furthermore, the company bagged many awards for design, organizational culture, and public relations work.
It was not a cakewalk for the company to persistently keep up the success, at one point Ascendant was offering too many services. They had to go through a complexity reduction exercise to ensure they focused on the things they can be world-class. Furthermore, it also exposed a weakness within its industry and capitalized on it.
Ascendant Group proudly says, “We became the first global business to develop a fully integrated execution model for CEO branding. We develop brand strategy and execute through PR, social media, book deals, design, and strategic positioning. We’ve always been willing to push the envelope and go further. Our offering now includes congressional advisory and a high touch C-level career advisement service. We have an extension of Ascendant Group called Executive Branding. This new division is allowing us to take on more executive clients and serve at a higher capacity.”
CEO branding happens through PR avenues like Media Placement, Social Media, Publishing, and Congressional Advisory. The organization works with entrepreneurs, CEOs, athletes, speakers, actors/actress etcetera.
Ascendant Group gives utmost importance to its clients while constantly scanning the marketplace. The firm observed that many companies promise to make the efforts to get things done which ultimately leads to dissatisfaction. “We decided to build our service to have measurable results. This creates more trust from the beginning and let clients know we are committed to their success.”
Customers’ demand is ever changing and so does Ascendant agree with it by saying, “Many of our clients experience similar challenges: getting their product or services in front of the right audiences, at a massive scale. We’ve built reputable relationships that help our clients connect their experience and services with highly valued reputation. We have an 90% success rate in getting our clients book deals with top publishers in the world. Our clients have been seen on the top Network channels on TV. We have tripled their revenue and allow them to expand their many businesses shadowing back to one specific brand. The main challenge of a brand is building emotional connection with its audience. We have designed a successful brand strategy model that helps our clients accomplish that – which result in loyal/returning customers.”
CEO branding is a unique niche created by the firm and deals directly with a specific audience. “We also tell our clients they will work with an “A team” then stick them with a “D team.” What we say we will do even long after the contractual period has ended.”
Roll out the red carpet: Raoul Davis, CEO and Founder
Raoul Davis helps businesses increase their top line revenue. Known as one of the world’s foremost experts on CEO branding, Davis helps CEOs increase their visibility with their target audience and become recognized industry experts. He is a regular contributor to Forbes.com and writes a monthly column on branding topics for American City Business Journal which reaches 3.7 million readers in the coveted C-suite.
Davis has built an exclusive, private sector executive client list that has included Fortune 50 executives, multibillion dollar Chinese based businesses, retired athletes, CEOs at middle market companies with $5-100 million in revenue, and NY Times Best-Selling Authors.
Recently Davis along with his two co-authors released the new book Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life. Distributed by Penguin this book looks at the difference between those who think about making things happen and the people that make an impact. Covering the likes of Elon Musk to historical figures like John Adams and over 20 profiles born of personal interviews with some of the most successful people in the world. Recently the book received two raving reviews with Forbes and one with the Huffington Post.
Davis has spoken for the likes of UPENN, The Global Trade Commission, Women of Wealth Magazine, and Penn State.
A dominating force in Davis’s life is his dedication to helping others positively impact the world. He has taught an entrepreneur course for his church Life in Christ Cathedral of Faith and gives time and resources to organizations like the Kingdom Chamber of Commerce, The Global Women’s Foundation, and Winston-Salem State University.
“CEO branding is the art of developing emotional connections with the stakeholders that matter the most to a businesses success through the power of story-telling and providing value that demonstrates marketplace differentiation.”
-Raoul Davis, CEO & Founder, The Ascendant Group
“Ascendant is a CEO branding development firm specializing in corporate brand strategy and development for CEO and executive leaders.”