A couple of weeks back I was seated across a new client in his office. He spoke to me about the kind of business they do, how they started, and their current market position.
He felt his company lacked PR and the very purpose of our meeting was that he wanted me to handle PR for his company.
Advertising was another option he had in his mind. But from our conversation, I understood he couldn’t perceive the difference between marketing, public relations, advertising, and branding.
Sadly, it’s not surprising! I’ve met many such clients. This is because the marketing scenario has taken almost a 360° turn over the past decade.
There is a lot of confusion about the four words – Marketing, PR, Advertising, and Branding.
Marketing mainly focuses on generating leads and thereby, selling products or services. With this purpose in view, marketing uses various tactics like direct marketing, event marketing, content marketing, word of mouth marketing, brand strategy, social media, loyalty marketing, and the like.
A visible sign of marketing success can be new leads generated and an increase in online traffic.
The purpose of PR is to build the reputation and image of a company and at the same time extend its reach. It has more to do with building relationships and visibility via print and online media.
It involves creating content for various types of media, blogs, public speaking activities, crisis management, influencer relations, and so on.
The success of PR is estimated in terms of the percentage of coverage as compared to its competitors, media opportunities received over a certain period of time, and an increase in online followers or subscribers.
When we speak of advertising, it involves companies paying to have announcements sent to the potential or existing clients to try and convince them about their brand.
Traditional methods of advertising take help of newspapers, cable TV, billboards, print ads, radio, and broadcast to reach out to people; while the new kind of advertising encompasses social media advertising, Google AdWords, banner ads, and video pre-roll to name a few.
I made it clear to my client, that these are good methods to promote his company. I also added, “There is another effective and much more impactful method to stand out of the crowd and create your own identity. It’s to Brand your Company”!
Branding your company is the best way to show that you are different. It builds up a trust factor, generates loyalty and commitment. It’s a way through which you can create your desired perception of your company in the market.
A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person.
You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.
– Jeff Bezos
Branding has to do a lot with the kind of emotion you want to evoke in people when they come in touch with your company. Most importantly, it showcases what you and your company believe in.
Branding uses visuals used by your company like the logo, colour codes, taglines, social media posts, and visual creatives to create a professional and unique image for you. These elements remind one of your brand and people can associate your company’s ideals with their own beliefs and needs.
Branding may involve hand-crafting your company’s exclusive brand style as well as showcasing your success stories in the market. It makes you stand out, so much so, that people approach you with a belief that you and your company are the right person for them to work with.
At the end of the meeting, my client gladly opted for more branding initiatives. We immediately started work and today, we have a Brand Ambassador for us.
Be distinctive. Cut through the noise. Take charge of the perceptions you are projecting. If you are not sure how to showcase your edge, do contact us today.