Pulse of the Profession

Friday Five: Understand your Brand

When people think of branding, they often think of logo design; however, brands are much more complex than just their visuals – brands require content, tag lines and more, all of which must work cohesively. Public relations practitioners are frequently given the responsibility to create content that adheres to branding. Catering to a brand may seem difficult; yet, if done well, consumer loyalty and other benefits may follow.

In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post – an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary – we look at the emotions that connect consumers to brands, recommendations on how to build a successful brand, a football team defending its brand and how to use YouTube to boost your brand. We also look at how to become a “highly recommended” brand through social media.

Disney, Yahoo!, Google Top List of 100 Most Loved Companies (APCO Worldwide)

APCO Insights, the global opinion research consultancy at APCO Worldwide, revealed the results of its recent evaluation of consumers’ emotional attachment to brands through its Emotional Linking model. The results offer insight into what consumers expect from brands and the “eight critical emotions” that guide consumers’ connection to brands. Understanding, approachability, relevance, admiration, curiosity, identification, empowerment and pride were determined to play a significant role in consumers’ relationships with brands. The results found that Disney, Yahoo!, and Google are the top three most-loved brands, and serve as a model of how other brands may win hearts and minds.

“The Emotional Linking model has proven to be an excellent way to help companies retool their campaigns to build stronger emotional attachments between their key audiences and their brands,” said Bryan Dumont, president, APCO Insight. The press release also discusses trends in industries such as tech, retail and restaurants.

Seven Steps To A Successful Brand (Forbes)

Branding is a vital part of an organization because it encompasses the “less tangible assets such as corporate culture, how the executive team and even how employees conduct themselves are all part of a brand’s DNA.” Public relations ties heavily into branding because practitioners are responsible for maintaining how the brand is perceived by the public.

Companies and agencies need to be consistent with their brands on different levels, and the author, Raoul Davis, offers insight into how to build a successful brand. Some of these recommendations include:

  • Creating the right tagline
  • Standing out from the crowd
  • Developing your company culture
  • Being patient with your brand

Name Controversy Not Just Skin Deep (Huffington Post)

A real-life example of dedication to brand is the ongoing controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins. The team is experiencing pressure to change its name (and its brand as a whole) based on recent comments made by President Obama, the Oneida Indian Nation and Howard Stern about the racism associated with its name. Owner Daniel Snyder has publically announced, however, that he will not change the team name, which is considered by many to be offensive to Native Americans.

John David, president of David PR Group, weighs in on the battle of the team name. He said, “If the team decides to change the name, the upside is that the controversy will be over for good, end of story. The downside is that the team has to handle the PR defeat and go through a challenging and expensive rebranding effort.” If they hold tight to their name and well-known brand, however, they could face major backlash from those offended by the name, as well as those who attend and patronize award shows produced by Dick Clark Productions, Synder’s “business interest.”

6 Biggest Mistakes Brands Make on YouTube (Mashable)

YouTube serves as a great outlet for brands because during its initial growth, it allowed its users to post “a unique type of content built specifically for YouTube and its audience.” Brands are now tapping into this asset and creating creative content that allows them to maintain their brand image but also interact with their consumers. Misusing the site, however, garner negative backlash from its users.

The article outlines common mistakes brands make regarding their YouTube account. Going viral and lack of attention to detail top the list as frequent mistakes. The “post and pray strategy” is also an error – many users new to YouTube post content without paid placement or PR and influencer outreach. The author notes that “50% of videos on YouTube have fewer than 1,000 views” so the prior strategies can help aid in organic sharing. Remembering that it’s a social media platform is also key, and brands should focus their efforts on gaining subscribers, which are just as important as views. Brands are also reminded to produce high quality content that’s also unique to get the most from the platform.

5 Steps To Becoming A ‘Highly Recommended’ Brand On Social Media (Business Insider)

One of the greatest tools in creating brand awareness is social media. Because of social media’s interactive nature, brands can use it to their benefit to gain recognition through recommendations by web users. Digital marketer Paul Rand offers insight into how to use social media to your brand’s fullest potential and weighs in on the important role that recommendations play in creating a popular brand.

Brands should focus on “aspects of [their] business that [they] want to be known and recommended for” and should remember to be as responsive and interactive as possible to ensure any negative feedback is addressed. Quick responses, taking responsibility for mistakes made by the brand and transparency are key in creating positive relationships. Be open to recommendations customers make to the brand through social media. The entire organization should be recommendable – all who come in contact with the company, from internal staff to vendors, should have a positive outlook on the company and brand.

Faith Goumas is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.

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