Branding is sometimes hard to separate from advertising and marketing. Although it is all under the same umbrella of external communications, some differentiation can and should be made between them so you can strategically put them to work for your business. Branding deals most closely with the image of a company and how it is being portrayed to the audience and various publics the company has. There are three simple facets to branding that a company wants to make sure they concentrate on in all their messaging for branding goals: (a) name/who they are, (b) what they do/product category, (c) core message (tag line/motto) what separates them from the competition. These are elements that surely are integrated into other forms of communication that the company engages in, however, together they are the essentials in this process.
When a company is looking to brand themselves, they need exposure from off-site locations to push traffic to the site. Concentrating online for this is key and social media is truly essential here. Additionally, integrating in PR efforts establishing media placements is becoming increasingly important. First, let's look at social media for this, although social media is an extension of the company's website, it plays an integral role as each new account presents an opportunity to widen exposure. Companies using social media in coordinated marketing strategies or simply on their own accord can and should make an effort to concentrate on these elements in their branding:
Further, as Google's "Search, Plus Your Word" feature, social information will be of increased importance from here on out as the information that companies put on their social accounts will get greater exposure in the results pages of Google.
This operates much in the same way with PR efforts. If company executives and experts have unique insight into the industry and can provide in-demand commentary drawing from their years of experience, then they can be pitched to the media to discuss various tips or perspectives of developments in the industry. This adds credibility to the individuals themselves and the company as a whole.
For more information on branding, check back on our blog as it is a subject we touch on quite often, or reach out to me directly at rbuddenhagen(at)webimax.com and @ryanwbudd.