Saturday, March 16, 2013

“Advertising doesn’t build brands, publicity does"

POSITIONING: A marketing strategy that aims to make a brand occupy a distinct position, relative to competing brands, in the mind of the customer. Companies apply this strategy either by emphasizing the distinguishing features of their brand (what it is, what it does and how, etc.) or they may try to create a suitable image (inexpensive or premium, utilitarian or luxurious, entry-level or high-end, etc.) through advertising. Once a brand is positioned, it is very difficult to reposition it without destroying its credibility. Also called product positioning.

Al Ries, the author of Positioning The Battle for Your Mind, the book voted as the best marketing book of the 20th century by the readers of Advertising Age, the industry’s bible says:

“Advertising doesn’t build brands, publicity does. Advertising can only maintain brands that have been created by publicity."

“The truth is, advertising cannot start a fire. It can only fan a fire after it has been started. To get something going from nothing, you need the validity that only third-party endorsements can bring. The first stage of any new campaign ought to be public relations.”

This quote comes from his more recent, The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, a brilliant read, which he wrote with his daughter – and partner – Laura Ries.

The most rudimentary form of third party endorsement are testimonials. Don't bury those so deep on your websites it takes a bomb squad to dig them out. Put those right out there where visitors to your site see them immediately.

In referencing PR here, however, I am talking more about getting articles placed in your industry’s magazines, doing radio and television interviews – telling your story to lots of people.

These days, the Internet also enables you to send out “optimized” press releases. In addition to using “key words” in the release, these can also include embedded video clips, links to relevant Web pages, and options for sharing the release on social networks.

Where does your brand live?