Actually, only a few CEOs hate branding. Many more distrust it. And for good reason.
Finance and Operations, the career paths of most CEOs, involves stuff you can control within your four walls. You can lead; people will follow. You can establish procedures; they’ll be in place. Hire, fire, budget, steer the ship. You have control, to one degree or another.
But marketing/advertising/branding? Most of what matters there takes place outside the walls of your office or factory or store. It involves out-of-control, seemingly irrational customers, clients and prospects who may be unaware of – or even choose to ignore – your messages. This is especially true if your messaging is inwardly focused.
If you’re a CEO, get over it. Your biggest lever for growth lies in understanding how prospects Out There regard your brand.