Have you ever seen a commercial on television that may appear interesting, but when it’s over, you can’t remember what was being advertised? That is what’s known as “brand failure.”
Corporate America spends billions of dollars each year in advertising and promotions for the products or services they provide. Their goal is obviously to reach as many potential customers as possible. Any time they create a perception that does not stick in your mind in a positive way every time you hear their company name, its brand has failed.
The same holds true for your company no matter how large or small. Building and maintaining a good public image means the difference between success and disaster. The way the public views your company profoundly impacts the amount of business you can expect to do in any market. The public image you create for your company should be one that captures attention and motivates customers to purchase your products or utilize your services.
The first step in building your company brand and image is to identify your target market. You will then need to develop a promotion campaign using tools such as:
- company name – one that is easy to remember and speaks to the nature of your business;
- company logo – one that is a positive visual representation of your company;
- printed materials – business cards, stationery, pamphlets, brochures, etc.; and
- word of mouth – getting the public to identify with your company and spread the word.
Next, you must develop a strategy to disseminate this information to your target market that persuades customers to try your products or services. This is accomplished via electronic media, print media or public relations activities that clearly states:
- what needs to be said;
- how it needs to be said;
- to whom it needs to be said; and
- when it needs to be said.
Electronic media consists of paid television and radio advertisements. This is the most expensive form of mass selling. Print media, on the other hand, consists of paid advertisements via newspapers, magazines, newsletters or billboards and is considered less expensive than electronic media. Publicity or public relations is a free form of promotion or advertising (electronic or print) that includes distributing press releases, attending networking events or speaking engagements.
Always remember that no single promotion strategy works for everyone. Regardless of the medium you use, it need not be expensive. Promotions are sometimes ineffective when they don’t reflect the product or service as they are intended. But whatever your campaign strategy entails, all efforts should be well understood by everyone in the company as well as customers. And most importantly, create a brand that will make customers a fan of your company so much that they tell their friends, family, co-workers and everyone they meet.