Promoting Your Brand
Once you have developed a brand (a business and an idea of what you want your brand to stand for) you will want to promote your brand and enter into the actual action phase of branding. This is not as complicated as you think it might be.
Step One: Placement
Placement means inserting your brand or service so that others see it. It is much more subtle than advertising. If you have ever felt as though you were suddenly hearing about a brand or service everywhere even though you were not seeing any actual advertisements for the business, then you were probably being exposed to some clever placement. Placement is so important to branding that some people use the terms “placement” and branding interchangeably.
To insert your brand or product into people’s consciousness, look around you. Consider contacting your local radio station – they may be willing to offer you a placement spot. Consider donating a product or service to a community event in exchange for advertising. This, too can be a form of placement.
Vary your placement. Make sure that you place your brand in a variety of placements, not just one. This is obviously more expensive and requires more effort, but it also ensures that more people hear of your company.
Step Two: Branding in Advertisement
Although branding is often seen as an addition to or alternative to advertising, the two can work together. To promote your brand, you do need to make sure that any advertising you do fits in with the placements and brand identity you are creating. For example, of you are trying to create a brand loyalty based on your company’s commitment to the environment, do make sure that your ads have a “green” theme as well. That way, your advertising and branding will work together and customers will respond more positively to your ads, as they already have some sense of your company from your branding efforts.
Step Three: Branding in a Corporate Environment
The way you run your business – and the way you promote your business culture – can make a big difference on your branding efforts. Despite this, many companies routinely overlook the fact that the way companies are run often impacts branding. For example, if you want to promote your company brand as being “green” or socially conscious, then you may wish to encourage environmental action and volunteerism among your employees. You will certainly want to create a green office space. Your work environment and work methods should be in line with the image you are promoting. Otherwise, you will seem very untrustworthy as a company.
If you are already offering an environment that is similar to your brand image, do promote that. Create a blog that shows how your workspace or work ethics reflect your overall mission. Letting your customers see that you back your company image shows that you are serious and makes customers more willing to entrust their business to you.