February 24

How to Narrow Down Your Key Stakeholders

Phillip Oakley

Your business has people that depend on it and want it to succeed. There are also people who your business depends on. These “stakeholders” can be a part of the company, such as the owners, or external, like customers and suppliers. Anyone affected by the success or failure of a company can be considered a stakeholder. The only people you should consider when building your brand are the most important “key” stakeholders. Here are some guidelines for determining who your key stakeholders are.


Partnerships are one of the most popular ownership models for small businesses in the United States. Because each partner contributes to many aspects of the business it is important for them to all be on the same page, including with the company’s brand. The process of discussing the brand matrix will often reveal inconsistencies in ideas. Coming out the other side with a clear picture of what the other people you are in business with think can make all the difference.


These are the folks who believe in you enough to trust you with their money. They have an opinion that you should take into consideration. Investors range from venture capitalists with a lot of experience and knowledge to relatives whose opinion may not hold as much weight. Bottom line, they expect your company to make them money. Make sure they are on board with your brand, it’s a representation of them as well.


This may seem like a broad catch all but is really important to defining your company’s brand. This is anyone who has a fundamental impact on your company. Some companies consider their employees key stakeholders. Others may say their customers have a big stake in the success of the company. The bottom line is, who your company thinks about as key stakeholders goes a long way to defining who you are as a company.


As you build your brand identity it is important to know who is impacted by its success or failure. The key stakeholders are the people that have hitched their wagon to yours. Your brand should reflect their beliefs as well as your own.

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