We've heard a lot about the break-up of glamour couple Michael Clarke and Lara Bingle, and you might be wondering what it has to do with risk management. Brand risk analysis is essential not only for companies but also for high-profile individuals. Michael Clarke and Lara Bingle are both ‘brands' and both have been affected differently by the recent events.

Brand risks are threats to the character traits of a brand that may adversely affect stakeholder demand for that brand - be it a person, a sport, a product, an event and so on. Brands have three dimensions:

  1. Differentiators from their competition
  2. Essentials or core values that they stand for
  3. Market-related aspects, such as a social trend or market condition that creates demand for the product or service

Brand risk assessment should be a tool in the kit of all brand managers. Having an understanding of a brand's character traits can help identify risks to that brand.

Let's consider Michael Clarke's brand.

  1. Differentiators - The image of fitness, an elite sportsman, a modern man and Australia's cricket captain in waiting
  2. Essentials/core values - Caring, honest, a desire to ‘do what's right', selective with public comments, a balanced approach to his personal and professional life
  3. Market-related aspects - The community expects Clarke to play cricket and not walk out on his mates during a tour. (He returned to the cricket tour straight after his break-up with Bingle and scored a test century with the bat. By doing so he has shown great poise, character and focus; all desirable traits of a sporting legend).

Brand risk assessment applies the process set out in ISO31000 for risk management, but considers threats under these particular areas.

The Clarke/Bingle saga has finally died down after dominating our media for weeks. In the end Clarke's brand has emerged probably strengthened but it is difficult to determine the long term affect on Bingle's brand. She has taken heavy fire from commentators and some might argue her brand's core values have been damaged. Time will tell.