The era of the faceless brand is nearing its demise. In an age where business owners are increasingly running their enterprise “from the heart” as acclaimed British Library business coach Rasheed Ogunlaru would say, there has never been a better time to bravely step forward and be visible.
Having worked in public relations for fifteen years I spend much of my week convincing or encouraging business owners to ‘own’ their expertise, shout about their business values and ethos and allow these human principles to resonate with their target audience. As a PR consultant running JH Public Relations, an agency who specialise in affordable media coverage for Start-Ups and SMEs, a key part of our approach to securing press coverage for clients, revolves around drawing out the human-interest story which every business owner has.
Audiences can see through branding messages that do not correlate to behaviour, and PR is your tool for illustrating your commitment to your brand values. Let case studies shout about the benefit of your service, let customers provide testimonials for your products, illustrate your business brilliance through sharing advice and useful tips through media coverage and blogs. A business without sales is not a business at all, and if your customers cannot find you then your product brilliance is irrelevant.
When Dyson founder James Dyson stated he “does not believe in brand” and that his company were only as good as his last product, his statement contradicted the fact that either through smart PR advice or gut instinct, he had strategically placed himself at the very centre of his marketing campaign to promote Dyson, even goes as far as starring in the TV ads for the latest vacuum or heater. Regardless of his ‘don’t believe in brand’ headline, which successfully secured valuable media coverage debating his words, Dyson (or savvy PR team) recognise that the suction of his vacuum alone does not equate to business success and awareness, so instead he steps into the limelight, dons his tireless innovator pioneering new trends in household appliances hat, and ‘speaks’ to the audience with whom his brand values and identity resonate. Clever – as is Dyson’s £1.2 billion turnover in 2012. Richard Branson, the heart of Virgin is another example of how incredibly effective inserting a human element at the heart of business branding can be.
If raising the profile of your business is a priority for you in 2014, and your marketing efforts to date have been less effective than you would have liked. Then do something differently this year, step bravely and visibly into the driving seat of your brand. Even without a Dyson media spend, bringing the human element into your business marking can reap massive rewards. So take centre stage and connect with your audience, be authentic and watch your business grow.
Jessica Huie, Founder of JH Public Relations and Color blind Cards is an entrepreneur with 15 years media experience, having worked with some of the UK’s best known celebrities, entrepreneurs and brands.
To kick off 2014 with an affordable PR campaign that impacts, contact JH Public Relations on email@example.com or 0203 282 7577.