Promoting a positive brand image is what allows a company stand out and rise above its competitors. Branding helps create strong relationships with the public and can increase brand loyalty. Effectively branding your company will result in better brand recognition, which is what makes your brand the top choice for consumers that are searching for a product or service that your company offers. PR professionals can play a crucial role in the process of developing a company’s brand image and promoting it effectively to the audience that they are trying to reach. The purpose of branding your company is to create relationships with your audience and PR is very relationship focused. In order to effectively brand your company, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
Research is Key
When branding your company, it’s extremely important to research your target audience. Holding focus groups and sending out surveys will help you get a better understanding of what type of branding strategy would resonate best with your audience. When branding your company, it’s important to focus on promoting your values and creating a personality for your brand. Researching your audience is helpful in order to figure out who holds the same values as your brand and will connect the best with your brand image. Knowing what they are interested in, how they perceive different types of messages, and what they are sensitive to can help you determine what audience it is that you want to target.
Telling stories is what keeps your audience engaged and interested in your company’s brand. Stories evoke emotion, and that is one of the most effective ways to get someone to relate to your brand. When someone can relate to a story, it creates a connection. Being able to tell a story about the founder of your company, the employees, the company’s values or any other aspect that is unique about your brand is what will allow you to stand out and connect with the public.
It is important that your company stays on brand. Creating a brand image and not staying consistent with what you present to the public can create confusion and result in the audience losing some of the trust that they’ve gained for your brand. Branding is what establishes a personality for your company. It is what engages the audience and allows them to begin forming a relationship based off of how they perceive your brand. It’s important to keep the voice of the brand consistent, as well as color schemes, use of the logo, and incorporation of design elements. Staying consistent is what helps a company strengthen their existing relationships, while still being able to continue building new relationships.
Know your Competitors
When establishing a brand, it’s important to know what you are going to be up against. Doing research to find out who your biggest and toughest competitors are in your area is what will help you figure out what their branding strategies are. Researching your competitor’s branding strategies and getting feedback from your audience about their attitudes toward your competitors can give you a huge advantage. You can learn from the mistakes that your competitors have made or are currently making with their brand. Knowing who it is that you are competing against will give your company an opportunity to make your brand more unique and relatable to your audience. It allows your company to set yourselves apart from your competitors that provide the same products and/or services that your company does. A great example of this would be Coke vs. Pepsi. Being that the two brands sell very similar products, they’ve always competed over the same audience. Coke has always done a good job of speaking to their audience and winning them over with their branding strategies.
While branding a new company – or even rebranding a company – it is extremely important to do your research, tell your brand’s story, stay consistent and know who your competitors are. When a brand holds values and creates a personality for itself, the audience is more likely to interact with the brand. Branding is what gives companies a chance to set themselves apart and become a top-of-mind brand for a larger audience. Effectively branding your company will make your brand extremely successful.
Brooke Thompson is finishing up her junior year at GVSU, where she is pursuing her bachelor's degree in public relations. She joined PRSSA and GrandPR in 2018. She enjoys being a part of these organizations because it has taught her how to apply what she learns in the classroom to the real world. In her free time, Brooke likes to do hot yoga and spend time with her family and friends.