by Dave Curtis on 09/15/2014

in Brand Marketing, Branding, Branding Tips, Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Viral Marketing

Good Public Relations and Marketing go Hand in Hand

draft-horsesBranding is the company image created on purpose through marketing. It’s much more than the product label or the picture on the box, and it isn’t ads in newspapers, or online.

As the anniversary of 9/11 was just 2 days ago, I’ll display this short video of Budweiser’s.

What is Branding?

It’s the Budweiser draft horses pulling the wagon full of beer barrels, it’s those same horses in winter pulling a sleigh, it’s the fireman emerging from the flames with an infant in his arms, it’s the soldier coming home to meet his newborn son for the first time in three years, it’s the family with tearful eyes full of thanks who’s home has suffered a terrible fire and the fire and water damage restoration company has restored it to inhabitable condition, it’s the woman giving thanks to the hospital that saved her from cancer, it’s the “Pepsi Generation” with the upbeat ads. Whatever it is, it often reaches home to the heart of the person it’s intended for.

Marketing is creating a company’s public persona. Great marketing creates great brands and can instantly and permanently draw customer loyalty – through positive emotion, patriotism, nostalgia, through “doing good in the community or the world” that the community recognizes and identifies with positively. Marketing is branding, and good brands, when the marketing is done right, is better and more memorable than mere advertising alone.

Great marketers know that they have to tell a story. It’s the way they tell it that draws the audience in and keeps them coming back for more. A lot of companies, especially the smaller ones, don’t think they have time or money for branding, or that it’s too complicated or difficult, or they don’t have the time to do it.

Take a lesson from Gary Vaynerchuck – that “crazy wine guy” full of energy who compared the wines sold in his family business side by side and made comments like “This one is reminiscent of … ‘old socks’.” …Gary Vaynerchuck, through is efforts of doing a quick video show turned his dad’s little wine business into a $50,000,000 profit making machine. Through videos shot by an amateur. Here’s one:

Through is personal touch and representation of his family business he reached millions of people. Through regular videos he developed a following. Through his subsequent fame in marketing online he received many book deals and has written several to date – and he’s also constantly hired to do motivational speaking engagements. And why? Because he simply took what he knew, and got it out there to as many people as he could. He didn’t spend millions on Super Bowl ads, Goodyear Blimps (Do they still have those?) but went right to the people directly – in the place where people didn’t have to pay, and where they could share his work (the social network of YouTube!) and find it easily. A few glasses of wine watching Gary and instant connection.

But what if you own an agricultural products business and you’re stuck in your office every day? How about a once a week or once a month video out in the garden with a gardening table and show people how to prune, how to fertilize, how to protect against insects, how to protect against cold and frost, how to make a little greenhouse cover… You name it. Get known, get people to like you and connect with you emotionally.

One local business I know of has an “all you can eat spaghetti dinner” every single year, and the proceeds to go support a local charity – whether it be homeless children, battered women, a cancer institute – it’s always something important and helpful and it makes a person feel good about that business, and when comparing two places that are roughly equal as far as Italian restaurants go – his restaurant wins because it’s “the right thing to do”. But he goes one further. He has a local cooking show deal going with the county television station. He cooks, it goes out to thousands of homes on cable, and it’s available on Youtube as well. The business also has built a huge social media following on Facebook due to the love in the community, and after the business caught fire and burned to the ground, the community all stood behind him with their support, and continues to do so as he focuses on catering until the business reopens in February of 2015.

So you see – whether amateur or more professional doesn’t really matter. What matters is doing something. So if you’re the one with the agricultural business, then go to the plant show and get a tent, arrange for some chairs, and prepare for a topic of discussion and questions and answers afterwards.

On a hot day (or cool) a welcoming seat and hearing an expert speaker is always fun – and have someone film it while you wear a small mic, then talk to them afterwards, meet and greet, and hand out your brochures and cards to those who ask. Now you’ve got your own “expert video” proof to add to your marketing tools, something else you can have on your site to help build you trust.

When I was a Senior Instructor at a local Computer Club several years ago when I had more time for such things I couldn’t believe how many members approached me after each class to ask me questions and talk to me, who wanted my card, and who became long term clients – even to this day. Good will and getting out there goes a long way. Building a brand requires going to social events and getting involved. Remember back in college when Budweiser and Coca Cola used to show up on campus and sponsor special events? They reached out to the young with fun events, games and things to do not to sell beer or soda, but to connect and market their brand. So get involved in the community in any way you can, wherever you can, as often as you can, in good and positive ways.

If you’re not a marketer and don’t have a marketer or a brand – that advice will take you a long way.

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