Personal branding is no longer the celebrity culture embellishment it once was associated as. It’s more than “Foreman Grills” and “Body by Jake” (I have both actually). It has become a fundamental necessity of any successful business. If your company does not articulate its brand message clearly and consistently within its given space, it is certain to die the slow death of irrelevance. However, even the systematic, and clear dissemination of your company brand/message is not enough to distinguish yourself in a given consumer space. Why? Because everybody already does that! Sure, every blue moon a McDonalds will change it’s slogan, Pepsi will change the look of its can (a recent design debauchery if I might add) but overall companies launch with a singular message, and then beat you over the head with it until you buy it or decide you didn’t want it after all. So then what do you need to brand yourself in a distinguishable way?
As an Entrepreneur, consider it this way for a moment:
Joe Entrepreneur is the CEO and President of “Joe Inc.” Joe Inc. has spent many a night in his horrifically loathsome basement for the last 2 years developing a revolutionary new slinky. Let’s just say this slinky can go UP the stairs! Joe is thrilled, both with the slinky and to be out of the basement. He knows the Internet is the most effective and explosive means of getting exposure for his magnum opus, but he’s a little unsure of how to go about publicizing his ingenious feat. This is where the difference between brand Publicity and PR come into play.
Publicity is easy. Anyone can either pay or entice, various media outlets to run a story, throw up a banner, write a review. If any of these are positive (which in the case of a stair-climbing slinky has got to be a given) they will definitely help increase awareness. But does awareness translate into sales? Everyone knows about AOL still, but how many new users does it really have?
Now on the other hand “PR” is about the strategic crafting of the your brand’s STORY. It’s the artistry of how you evaluate, and ultimately compose, the consumer’s interaction with your product. Its interaction with your design, price point, functionality and relevance. Ultimately it is simply storytelling. This is what makes your company, your product, even You, worth discussion.
The acute concentration of these detailed elements is the formation of your branded message. Whether it be the color palette on your blog, the font size, the packaging or the music. Each element is a branch, the roots your product, the growth of the tree, well that’s determined on how well you can water the details with the sweat of innovation.
Be different, be yourself.