BBC looks to build ‘an iconic brand with public service purpose at its heart’

The BBC is looking to define its brand positioning within a digital-first future by  hiring its first “chief brand officer”.

BBC The BBC is looking to build equity in its master brand, better defining its positioning and architecture.

At a time of significant changes for broadcasters, with audiences increasingly moving towards digital platforms, and at a time when the BBC is coming under pressure from Government, the BBC is looking to define its brand positioning within a digital-first future.

The organisation is recruiting for a “chief brand officer”, in a new role advertised on its careers website and on LinkedIn.

The BBC says the new position reflects the importance that the BBC’s executive committee and board place on “the role of brand in driving effective growth”.

The new chief brand officer will work across the breadth of the BBC’s TV, audio and news content, leading a team of 250 and with a “multimillion pound budget”.

How BBC Three is attracting ‘hard-to-reach’ audiences with its return to live TVThe job advert describes the new role as playing a critical role in “driving audience value across the BBC”, particularly on digital platforms.

The job ad states: “Audience value is defined as a ‘valued daily habit’ with the BBC, which is a measure of whether audiences are willing to pay the licence fee. In addition to this ‘consumption’ metric, for audiences to value the BBC they need to perceive the Brand as ‘for me’. In the future, most of the value will be delivered to audiences across our digital platforms so this role will also be pivotal to driving our digital growth.”

The broadcaster is looking to better define the BBC’s brand positioning” and defining the organisation’s ‘priority brands’ – those which have the most potential for growth.

“Brand strategy is business strategy, but it requires strong functional leadership and the creation of this new role for the BBC is recognition of the importance than the executive committee and board place of the role of the brand in driving effective growth,” it states. 

BBC and license fee under fire

The new chief brand officer will also be tasked with defining the equity and growth metrics for the BBC’s priority brands, defining the brand experience across the major touch points, creating an annual brand communications plan, managing investment across owned and paid media and chairing the BBC’s brand leadership group.

The advert says: “The BBC Chief Brand Officer will play a critical role in driving audience value across the BBC and will work pan-BBC, across our Content (TV and Audio), News businesses.”

Last year, the BBC celebrated its 100th anniversary – making it the world’s oldest public service broadcaster. More recently, the organisation has also come under scrutiny. Its chairman Richard Sharp resigned last month following concerns about a potential conflict of interest following revelations about the role he played in organising a loan on behalf of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Funding for the BBC has also been the subject of debate under the current government. In 2022, the licence fee was frozen for two years – which BBC director general Tim Davie warned would result in “tougher choices which will impact licence fee payers”.

Earlier this month, culture secretary Lucy Frazer confirmed that the government is considering reviewing the current funding model. Speaking on the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg On Sunday programme, she said: “I’d like to ensure the BBC is properly funded. The licence fee isn’t the only way.”