It takes many ingredients to bake a cake. Leave out the eggs, flour or frosting, and the cake flops.

Likewise, it takes contributions from employees across multiple divisions and disciplines within an automaker to make its vehicles and brands successful.

The metaphor about baked goods comes from a marketing guy – Lincoln’s Andy Georgescu – who takes his role as “brand caretaker” quite seriously. Four years ago, he referred to himself as such during his presentation at the WardsAuto Interiors Conference in Dearborn, MI.

At the time, Georgescu was Lincoln’s U.S. product marketing manager, and he lightheartedly provoked his fellow panelists, designers Eric Clough from Cadillac and Ben Jimenez from Calty Design Research, by suggesting people in marketing are the true brand caretakers, because, unlike anyone else, they have a keen understanding of the customer and those who potentially can be brought into the fold.

Of course, Clough and Jimenez could state definitively why designers are the most important brand caretakers, because they have the unique ability to create a visual first impression, capture lightning in a bottle and establish an immediate emotional bond by merely putting pencil to paper.

So who are the most important brand caretakers in the auto industry? That’s a bit like asking parents which child is their favorite.