What is a brand? And how to become a brand.

At its core, a brand is the definition people hold in their minds of your company and its products. That definition is built in two ways: by what people are told, and by what they experience when they use your product.

The term brand can also be used as a synonym for a company and its products, but not until they have reached a certain level of fame. What is the threshold for a product becoming a brand? That’s debatable. But just as it’s reasonable to say an actor who is not famous is not a celebrity, it’s also reasonable to say a company or product that is not famous is not a brand. 

Have you ever met someone who uses the term brand as a synonym for their product long before it has become famous? Oh my goodness. They just can’t say the word brand enough. There’s something about a novice marketer throwing around the word brand that makes them feel all warm and superior inside.

Calling your product a brand before the masses know about it is a mistake. Not only does it sound as silly as your little-known neighbor referring to themselves as some big celebrity, it masks the fact that you have a lot of hard work yet to do. You should be thinking, my product is not a brand so what is everything I can do to make it famous?  

Here’s a novel idea. How about using all 4 promotional mix channels instead of just 3?

Everybody runs ads, has a website and uses social media, but almost nobody uses the press. Sure they get a story or two, but that’s about it. It’s like running a 4-cylinder car on 3. Ker-klunk, Ker-klunk. 

Thirty years ago, I figured out a way to ease companies into buying more publicity. It was a simple pricing twist. I just started charging per story we secured for them, rather than charging by the hour. Clients loved, loved, loved the accountability. Since then, we’ve become the leading agency for product media coverage and have arranged tens of thousands of product stories for a who’s who list of clients. And of course, we amplify that coverage by sharing it on their websites and in their social media, as well as by running ads that point to the stories. It’s all about making and keeping their products famous. That’s what branding is: creating a definition in enough people’s minds that the product becomes and stays famous. Easy to say, tough to do.

When people check us out, it always comes down to two things: how much media coverage can we get for their product and how much does it cost. Not every company and product is a good fit for us but we can get a pretty good idea if you call us. If it’s a fit, we can give you price and a timeline. Our number is 952-697-5269. You can also click here to try the automated publicity estimator on our website, publicity.com.

Written by Lonny Kocina

Lonny is a visionary who is passionate about marketing. He believes that to be a truly great agency, our professional advice and deliverables must be based on a solid marketing foundation. He has made it his mission to ensure that everyone on our team knows and understands the basic marketing concepts and the SAM 6 process. Lonny pioneered the concept of our nationally trademarked Pay Per Interview Publicity® business model which enables clients to purchase publicity by the story. “It’s a familiar concept. If you pay for a pizza, you get a pizza; if pay for a car, you get a car; and with us, if you pay for media coverage, you get media coverage,” he explains. “Clients come to us because they are tired of paying hourly retainers and getting little tangible return.” When the Internet was in its infancy, Lonny also had the business foresight to quickly reserve portal web addresses such as publicity, media relations and checkerboard, and advised clients to do the same. Nearly 30 years since launching this agency, Lonny’s still finds great joy thinking about, talking about and writing about product promotion. He thrives on expanding our ability to help clients tell their stories to the masses.

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