In consumer terms, a brand is a noun; but it’s an intangible entity, more an idea than a thing. The brand is a perception, the consumer’s image of a company (or other entity/product) that comes from experience. A brand is also a reputation, developed over time. It’s earned.
As a verb, branding has referred to the act of creating a distinctive mark. In 21st century business jargon, branding is considered the intentional manipulation and control of the public perception of an entity.
The business of branding is a business of deception. The idea of defining a brand as a key to business success is a hollow and futile endeavor. In spite of how you look or behave, public opinion will shape your brand. To focus on control of an organization’s brand is a waste of time and effort. To foster a successful brand, it would be wiser to focus on quality products, a positive work environment and exemplary service before, during and after the sale. Your brand will be shaped by that.
Public relations is more important, more valued and more integral to an institution’s success than ever before – from information to strategy, from press releases to reputation building and brand positioning. Public relations is more involved in brand building – in helping companies actually build their products and their brands.
Any kind of marketing or communication that is going to be effective on the outside needs to start on the inside. It needs to start with fundamental actions and behaviors inside the company. And that’s where public relations is important.
Today people need to understand how businesses work. You’ve got to be able to take that creative energy and the creative thinking that is so important to any communications effort and develop an understanding of how it can drive business.
It will always be about content creation in the public relations business. Going forward, from a communications perspective, the more talented you are in creating compelling content across the spectrum of communications modes, the more effective you’re going to be, and the more opportunity you’ll have.
Branding is just another name for creating a perception – how marketers want their audience to think about a product once it comes to market. The word “product” can easily be swapped for service, or blog, or newsletter, or any number of things marketers promote. The underlying concepts remain the same.
A brand is an expectation of an experience. The company and tag line and logo and brand colors only exist to call that experience to mind. The essence of a brand lies within its meaning. And words have meaning. Words matter.
Content is currency — something we trade for our audience’s attention. It’s our job to create content worth sharing. How it’s shared isn’t up to us.