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You’re building a business, but what about your brand?

By Lisa Goldsberry

32072772_sLet PR help you lay a foundation for this crucial enterprise

Take a moment to think about the products and services you love. Now, ask yourself why you love them, why you’re loyal to them and what you know about them.

Most likely, the names that came to mind are those you’ve used for a long time, that have a good track record for customer service and that add something to your life. All of these things are related to branding, and those companies have worked hard to develop a positive perception of their products for target audiences. You can do the same for your company if you know and understand the principles of branding.

Show your value

One aspect that can set your company apart is adding value. You must demonstrate how your product solves people’s problems, improves their lives and even benefits the communities and populations they care about.

Another way to prove your value is by providing needed information. Reaching out to customers and proving value must entail more than targeted sales pitches listing the benefits of your product. You’ll make a bigger impression by explaining how your product helps the environment or offering interesting facts about your industry.

Promote yourself

You can’t sell anything while sitting in a dark room behind an unmarked, closed door. You need to open the door, shine a bright light on your product and company, find your target audiences and tell them all about it. Also, encourage others to talk about it on your behalf. Then, when your salespeople go beyond your front door and encounter prospects at various stages of the sales cycle, their job is easier because people already know about your product. That’s the foundation of promoting yourself. Getting your own PR may not always be easy, but it is really that simple.

Differentiate from the competition

Customers can (and do) easily turn to your competition for the products and services they need if you don’t offer what they want. In most industries, there is very little that separates one company from another, but you need to find your individual niche to create your brand. Certain companies have done an excellent job at making their products synonymous with a particular image so that, all other things being equal, customers choose them first. For example:

Red Bull = Energy

Apple = Innovation

McDonald’s = Consistency

Volvo = Safety

Raise visibility

Unless your company makes Vaseline (petroleum jelly) or Clap-On, you have serious competition. The best brands consistently develop new ways to be heard above the noise, and that’s what it means to increase visibility. You can do this by attracting more earned media placements and speaking and having a presence at industry or public events and sponsorship opportunities.

In addition, don’t forget about online prospects. Since studies have shown that a majority of consumers conduct research or formulate opinions and make purchases online, it’s vital to have a huge presence in this medium. Accomplish this with effective social media campaigns, search engine optimization efforts and online videos.

Encourage loyalty

Finding ways to improve relationships and reward current customers is a great way to increase sales and encourage loyalty. Do this through special projects like email campaigns, contests and incentive programs. Keeping customers dedicated to your company and coming back for more is a key component of branding.

Get help from PR

You can use PR to craft the right messages and build awareness for your brand. At Axia, we will use the most important aspects of your company and its strategic direction to help you build a strong brand. Register today for our unique 60-Second Impact program to learn how branding can have a significant impact on your bottom line and what Axia can do to support your efforts.

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.

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Topics: public relations, inbound marketing

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