Brand Communication: The Backbone Of Your Business

Brand Communication: The Backbone Of Your Business

Oscar de la Renta Sarah Jessica Parker

Brand communication is the backbone of business. It holds the key to the success of a business in a competitive market. Unless you are prepared to invest time and money in the cultivation and promotion of your enterprise, you might as well freeze your assets right now. YCB has been busy hunting and gathering the winning formula for brand communication success. Here’s what we discovered:

Know Your Brand Mantra: Prepare a 3 Second Statement

Whether working as a publicist for a brand or self-promoting your own brand, the next person you meet could lead to a business opportunity. Therefore, you need to be be able to sell yourself or your business in 3 seconds. Generally, people have a short attention span, if you don’t hook their interest in the first few seconds, they will zone out and deem you unimportant.

John Purkiss, the creator of the “three second statement” and co-author of the new self-promo book “Brand You: Turn Your Unique Talents Into A Winning Formula” informs us that even “an elevator ride is far too long to hold most people’s attention. In the UK, you have three seconds before someone interrupts and says pass the biscuits”.

According to Brand You, here is how to summarize and create instantaneous intrigue when introducing yourself or a brand that you work for:

“If you mention two activities, at least twice as many people will want to know more. They will pick up on the topic that interests them most.” So, pick two things you want to highlight and make those into your three-second statement.

John Purkiss’ own answer to “What do you do?” is “I’m a headhunter and I write books”. I’ve made mine, “I’m a copywriter and write a column about careers.” What’s yours?

Brand Hero(es)

As the ultimate brand hero, the business owner represents the company and must stand at the forefront and take charge of developing and executing the brand communications strategy. And if strategy isn’t their forte, the best leaders seek advise from the experts. A brand ambassador plays a different but complementary role as a brand hero. The business owner is the “chief storyteller” who develops a “great story” carefully angled to target the identified market. Then, the brand hero must convince (or pay) brand ambassadors to publicly promote this “great story.”

Continuously communicate brand values

From day one, have the foresight to incorporate the brand into every element of communication: emails, pitch decks, newsletters, etc. Conduct regular training within your company to ensure your employees are communicating your brand values effectively and consistently. Non-verbal communication elements such as dress-codes and the way employees are addressed are subtle techniques that could have an effect in encouraging brand-supporting behaviors.

The three Cs of brand communication

1) Clarity dictates a strong and authentic brand message. Clearly define what  your brand is and what it is not.

2) Consistency. You must strive to create original content consistently. The content of the brand communication should ideally be developed once, then tailored slightly for each medium or media outlet.

3) Constancy is about constantly reiterating the same brand messages so that your messages are not only heard, but more importantly, remembered. In the absence of these qualities, it is nearly impossible for the brand communications strategy to succeed because each ambassador will be telling a different “story”.

Press, Press, Press List

Research goes a long way in making connections with the media. The cardinal rule when contacting the press is to tailor your press release for each journalist. Second to this, journalists hate when you pitch them something that has nothing to do with what they cover. Instead of blasting a generic press release to hundreds of people and wondering why you have received no response, hand pick your press and send personalized pitches to a few dozen reporters. If you have the budget, invest in a subscription to a PR directory. It will pay off. If you’re on a bargain hunt, Google and Twitter search can generate names of writers who cover topics related to your business, as well as their most recent stories. Verify these details on LinkedIn and by checking out their publication.

Recognize Reporter Planning

Publications plan their stories and themes months in advance and many, publish editorial calendars on their websites. At the very least you will find the calendar list some of upcoming events for the year. Today, reporters tap into their networks on Twitter and LinkedIn when looking for leads. Cultivate relationships on Twitter by following writers, familiarizing yourself with their interests, and replying to tweets that catch your eye.

Blogger Reach

For better or for worse, bloggers are fast becoming strong contenders in the media sphere. Bloggers are becoming entrepreneurs of their own brand. More and more influential bloggers are fostering affiliate partnerships with big brands, be it through advertising on their site or as a brand ambassador of sorts. Therefore, it”s high time to start honing your blogger mailing list. The same rules of the press list apply.

Achieving success in brand communication is undeniably no mean feat. However, the reward for achieving positive brand communication far out weighs the effort. What do you feel is the most important aspect of brand communicaiton? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

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