PR explains the importance of branding
Heinz. John Deere. Sears. Wells Fargo. What do these names have in common? You know exactly what they are without any explanation. In addition, you know precisely what to expect from their products and services. That’s branding.
Every company – whether it’s B2B, retail or a large corporation – can benefit from branding efforts to increase market share and visibility. Branding is not only for companies like McDonald’s or Apple; it’s the kind of recognition you should seek for your own company, and PR can help.
What is branding, anyway?
The definition of branding is the association of positive qualities with your company name or service. In other words, it’s the words that come to mind for consumers when they hear your company name, see your logo or contact your business. They know your messages and, typically, have an emotional connection that keeps them loyal. It’s what separates you from your competition. That is your brand.
When you have a strong brand, consumers see your company as the only one in your industry that can give them what they need. For example, when you hear Apple, you may think of cutting-edge technology, or the name Mayo Clinic might signify state-of-the-art health care.
These companies did not achieve their distinctions overnight; it took years of hard work and a reputation of quality service and products to become unforgettable in their fields. The most important aspect of this is that you can do it for your company, too.
Ways you can brand your own company better
One of the first steps in branding is to know how consumers see your company and to define how you want them to see it. If these two viewpoints aren’t basically the same, you’ve got some work to do. Here’s where your company may be lacking:
Your brand should be integrated throughout your entire organization.
It’s not enough to simply say you stand for something; you have to live it every day, even when you think no one’s watching. (By the way, someone is always watching!) For example, you cannot state that “our customers are at the heart of all we do,” and then not respond effectively when they call with a problem or idea.
Learn what your target audiences want, need and like.
You can’t be the one to solve their problems if you don’t know what those problems are. It is vital to have a strong sense of your buyers’ persona (how they live, whom they admire, etc.). Companies like Nike and Red Bull have done a great job at this, associating their products with the lifestyles of their target customers, using professional athletes and extreme sports, respectively.
Tell your company’s story.
This is what makes you unique, will help consumers remember you and serves to personalize your company. The major automobile companies have successfully used this tactic for years. For example, Saab touts itself as being “born from jets,” recalling its history, and Dodge explains its founding by two brothers who left Ford, highlighting its reputation as master car builders and a significant force in the auto industry.
Why you need a quality PR firm in your corner
In addition to all the above, you also have to create effective messages and develop consistent materials for use company-wide. The right PR firm can handle these tasks for you.
At Axia, we can help you make your mark on your industry, using tools such as a content distribution strategy, increased visibility initiatives and social media campaigns. Contact us today or register for our free 60-Second Impact to learn more about how we can improve your brand for maximum profitability.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter @axiapr.
Featured image credit: 123rf.com