The Little-Known Genius of Chris Macrae

Brand processes. Social networking. Transparency. Empowerment. Sustainability.
All of these words – and the relationships between them – are still relatively new to the business community, but for decades Chris Macrae has been immersed in making the connections.
I met him more than a decade ago, when he served on the Board of the global Institute for Brand Leadership, which I coordinated. Chris was then and is now a complete genius, though his name is little-known in the mainstream world of branding and certainly not in the USA.
A primary member of the Board of the global Institute for Brand Leadership, Chris was chiefly responsible for driving the notion of branding as an inherently social process – well before anyone in the mainstream even understood what social media was. His efforts included bringing together the members of the IBL when it came to discussions, projects, and more.
Recognizing that it could take a long time to really immerse oneself in his thinking, here are some words, phrases and quotes from his website,, that will hopefully inspire you to read more:
  1. “Massive”: Architect your efforts on as large a scale as possible to have the most impact as possible.
  2. “Friends”: The future of work is not only collaborative but demolishes the line between professional and personal. We work with people we like, trust and feel comfortable with.
  3. “Communally”: The key to successful projects is a non-hierarchical arrangement where everyone has a say and a genuine influence.
  4. “Empowerment”:  Think about, incorporate into your efforts the notion of purposefully raising up the vulnerable
  5. “Networks”: The future is not just about one network but many. Social capital is about participating actively in your networks, in an active way, designed for purposeful good.
Even though I edited some of his work a long time ago, I personally still have a lot to learn about his thinking. So just ordered a copy of both of Chris’ books from, The Brand Chartering Handbook and World Class Brands. 
The key to Chris’ thinking is that branding, networking, openness and transparency, social activism, and corporate social responsibility cannot be separated from one another. 
If you understand that all efforts are in the end completely integrated, then branding processes become a seamless attempt to join the flow of the social network and influence it in a positive direction.
Dannielle Blumenthal is president of BrandSuccess, a corporate content provider, and co-founder of the brand thought leadership portal All Things Brand. The opinions expressed are her own and not those of any government agency or entity or the federal government as a whole. Contact her if you would like to request support.