There are many factors that can contribute to the growth and launch of your business. While creating the perfect logo and website are important for establishing your brand, it'll still be quite hard for your business to be successful if no one knows about it. This is where a solid Marketing and Public Relations strategy comes into play to create awareness and build a loyal user base for your brand.
Marketing and Public Relations can also be an effective tool for scaling your business, but it shouldn't be the only way.
Something sexy like Airbnb 'popped' because we had never heard of anything quite like it, but things get harder when you are trying to market, say, water.
I spoke with Reza Mirza, CEO of Icelandic Glacial water, on how he utilized PR to scale the small bottled water company into a brand available in 26 countries. Mirza points to three aspects of Public Relations that he leveraged to grow Icelandic Glacial: Credibility, Influencers, and Buzz.
Credibility is key
Media outlets like Inc carry a lot of weight when it comes to a brand. When a big name gets behind you, it automatically builds trust with your potential customers. "A positive product review or company profile in a respected outlet holds more weight than a paid advertisement" said Mirza, and he's right. From the agency perspective, a respected outlet covering a brand means more respected outlets will soon follow.
The difficulty here is getting into one in the first place, especially if you are a water company competing against brands like Coca-Cola for space when they spend millions in advertising.
Influencers are in
To help build some of that credibility Mirza mentioned that he worked with his PR team to identify brand-appropriate online influencers, be it celebrities or other notable personalities. These days, an online influencer can hold just as much clout as a media outlet and it can play a significant role in raising brand awareness.
However, not all influencers are created equal. Make sure you look at things like post engagement before you head down the path of working with someone whom you perceive as being popular.
This is the absolute hardest part of any campaign - but totally possible in any industry. We know you think your product is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but even sliced bread had a hard time getting noticed in the beginning.
An incredible resource for anyone looking at how to make their brand buzz-worthy is a book by Jonah Berger called Contagious.
An exercise we do with our clients when they think they have a newsworthy story is ask them what the headline would be. A news headline will never be "New Water Company Launches in Los Angeles" unless of course it was owned by Coca-Cola. You need to be mindful of what is actually news versus what you want to be news. They are different.