By Amanda Ruisi
Branding is an essential part of any business. Your branding is the story you want to tell. As founder and president of a PR agency and with over 15 years of experience in this industry, I know that branding is one of the most important tools there is. My agency works closely with various companies as well as a diverse array of celebrities to increase their visibility and strengthen their positioning within pop culture. Here's what you need to know.
Before you start building a brand, you need to decide what its mission will be. Ask yourself: What does your brand stand for and why are you creating it? Does it fill a void in the market? Make sure that once you create the brand's mission, you stick to it. Your messaging should stay consistent across every platform you have. For consumers, consistent messaging across multiple platforms creates a sense of credibility, which in turn ensures consumer loyalty.
Define your brand and create an impactful logo (i.e. branded items).
It is important for people to associate your logo with your company. This will ensure that your company stays at the forefront of people’s minds. Once again, consistency is the key: Your logo should be identical across all branded items including your website, social media platforms, bags, pens, thumb drives, etc. Our logo is used on anything involving the company (websites, documents, social, products, etc.) so that when someone sees it, they immediately ascertain that AKR PR is involved.
Embrace public relations.
Public relations builds the credibility of your brand. A well-executed press strategy will increase overall brand awareness and further solidify the brand’s place in the market. The visibility in press serves as a catalyst to get your brand story across to your targeted customers as you scale your business, something that can assist you in securing funding, customers as well as partnerships. The carefully executed press strategies we have facilitated have created hundreds of millions of media impressions, resulting in new audiences for each client.
Utilize social media as an extension of your brand.
Social media platforms are a great tool to build your brand. They are an extension of your voice and your company and should be utilized that way. It is important to engage with consumers and not just talk at them: Rather, you want to create conversations around your product and service, and social media is the perfect place for that. Keep your posts interesting and think about how you can set your pages apart from everyone else’s while still staying true to your brand. Also, social influencers can help build and maintain your brand across various platforms. The influencers, who can act as content curators, should resonate with your audience whether they have a global following or a specific niche following. Digital trendsetters that will support and engage with your initiative are always an advantage.
Identify brand influencers to align with.
If you choose to utilize influencers for your brand, it is important that they align with the brand’s overall mission. You should consider the following components before engaging in conversation with a potential brand ambassador: their interests, their fan base, their passions, their age and their gender. The more the influencer genuinely likes your brand, the more authentic and successful the engagement will be. The more research you do on the talent and the more aligned your product is with the talent’s beliefs, the more organic the partnership will feel.
A great recent example of when a brand used the right influencers to its advantage is the commercial for Cigna insurance. Cigna brought together actors who are known for playing iconic TV doctors (Alan Alda, Lisa Edelstein, Donald Faison, Noah Wyle and Patrick Dempsey) to support annual check-ups. This commercial worked on many levels. It effectively utilized on-brand talent to produce a sense of nostalgia and sent a clear, concise message to viewers.
Amanda K. Ruisi is the founder and president of AKR Public Relations, an award-winning marketing agency specializing in celebrity brands, entertainment, beauty, fashion and lifestyle.