Category :Public Relations
America needs a Brand Champion
It’s July – we just had our Independence Day and we have been in a recession for years. Millions of people are and have been out of work. We are facing a debt and budget crisis. Our political parties seem to just be jockeying for positioning instead of getting real things accomplished. The people of America want and a need a Brand Champion.
Brand Champions don’t come up with catchy slogans or cool-looking logos. No, they understand that real results come from developing a brand promise that people can get their arms around, and they deliver on that promise by creating a great brand experience, consistently.
America is just like any other business or organization that needs a leader to take charge. Who will define what an organization wants to get accomplished, craft and create how that is going to happen, and execute that on a consistent basis. We need someone – anyone – within our government to step up and be our Brand Champion, and act as a leader who builds consensus and builds bridges. We need someone who has not just an idea or an agenda, but a real action plan. Someone who has tactics that will help us as a country overcome our problems, (debt and budget) and put people back to work. This requires a Brand Champion that all people, not just one party or the next, but all people can believe in, stand behind, support and have faith in.
Like other brands our Brand Champion has to be real, in that he can connect with his constituency with real ideas. He must use tactics that will show signs that we are making real progress. He can’t be all hat and no cattle, he has to deliver the goods and produce economic stability that helps businesses and the markets buy into his plan. This plan needs to work and signal stability, and with that stability, businesses can start to hire again: bringing down the unemployment rate, stabilizing the housing market, and generating cash into the marketplace.
America and I need a Brand Champion that we can believe in, whoever this Brand Champion is will probably get elected or re-elected this coming year. Whether that Champion is our current president or someone else, I pray that this Brand Champion stands up soon and leads the charge to a real plan that produces results, because that is what real Brand Champions do. They deliver real results through their leadership, consensus building and ability to get things done and execute.
Will our America’s next Brand Champion please stand up, NOW?
I’m sure you’ve already noticed that Brand Iron recently launched a new website. But why???
Actually, I was asked a great question yesterday: “How do you know when it’s time to redo your website.”
There are many reasons to update your site: refresh graphics, add functionality, restructure navigation, add a call-to-action – but the main reason we updated our site was because the message didn’t accurately reflect the high level of support we provide our clients.
Our previous website didn’t communicate the true value we were delivering to our clients. Yes, we still do websites, we still do PR, we still do corporate IDs – but we do those things as a part of an integrated plan to help your business succeed. We have also developed new programs for developing brand champions, helping companies get acquired or go public, raising capital, etc.
We help our clients determine the activities that will make the biggest impact to their bottom lines. We take a holistic look at their brand and company – and help them forge the plan that will make them competitive in their market. Brand Iron works with our clients to drive short- and long-term revenue while identifying the activities that will make the biggest impact.
If your message has changed and you need to reposition yourself in the market, contact Brand Iron today. We’ll help you develop an integrated plan to drive short- and long-term revenue to your business.
I woke up the other day and was watching the news and I heard the newscasters talking about something called H1N1 and how it is spreading across the United States. My first thought was, “there another pandemic like virus in our country?” This new term caught my attention and I started to listen to what they were speaking about more closely. I quickly put two and two together and realized they were talking about “Swine Flu”.
So, why the new name? Right…
It turns out pig farmers of America have some media pull. Because of the uneducated general public’s fear for “Swine Flu” and the misconception you can get it from eating a pork product, people all but stopped buying pork products. The Swine Flu has been re-branded by name only to H1N1. I did look it up and it is a medical term for subtype form of influenza A better known as the “flu”. I still think H1N1 sounds just as scary. Now I am not saying that H1N1 is something to not be worried about; it could still turn into a major pandemic. I wanted to bring up that pig farmers in this country are seeing the effects of a branded name for a virus, which ultimately had an effect on sales.
This reminds me of a dietary supplement that was wildly successful in the 1970’s to mid 1980’s. The product was called “Ayds”. It was a supplement that was supposed to reduce your sense of taste to curb poor eating habits. Ironically around the same timeframe, just around the mid 1980’s the HIV virus and AIDs was largely becoming a social issue. The avid AIDs awareness in the media and public was the start of the down fall of the “Ayds” supplement. The company did not re-brand itself by name and clearly stating that this product is in no way related to the life threatening disease. So the Ayds product quickly stopped selling and eventually the product stopped being produced.
Luckily the pig farmers in this case spoke up to have the media change the name of Swine Flu. Now they should actively campaign through commercials and other media outlets to educate the public that pork could in fact help prevent H1N1 by keeping you level of protein up in your body keeping you healthy which in turns helps your immune system. Just a thought.
Written by Mike Slife
Protecting your company – or more specifically your “brand reputation” – is the ultimate goal during a time of crisis. The ability to withstand and endure a few “chinks in the armor” goes a long way to maintaining a strong, stable reputation.
Many companies, however, fail to develop a crisis communications plan thinking they can and will deal with it as necessary (in many cases they feel they are not susceptible to a business crisis). As a result, the typical reaction due to unpreparedness is to hide in the corner and hope the problem goes away.
But enter social media. With the explosion in recent years of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc., information spreads more quickly than ever. Last month’s Dominoes crisis where two North Carolina employees posted aYouTube video doing disgusting things to food should be considered Exhibit A. Hiding in the corner won’t make it go away.
Here are some questions to ask to determine your preparedness in the event of a crisis:
- Do we have a protocol in place outlining how we will react during the first few hours of a crisis? Do we know where to funnel all information about the crisis? Do we know who will serve as our company spokesperson? How will we communicate the situation to our employees?
- Are we properly prepared to deal with media? Does our media spokesperson have a familiarity and comfort level in dealing with the press? Who is monitoring the general media as well as the social media outlets so we can respond accordingly?
- After gathering and reviewing the situation, how soon can we prepare ourselves with the facts to address our various publics (employees, customers, community, media, etc.)?
- What is the best and most efficient method to communicate our message? How do we respond to their questions and concerns?
- During the initial days following the crisis, how can we best maintain and protect our reputation? How can we show our willingness to be proactive in dealing with the situation?
Failing to address or “take control” of the situation can lead to more damage and deeper company wounds. Taking hold of the situation, on the other hand, will have positive effects on your overall brand.
Written by Jim Miller
Who better to recruit future students to an entrepreneurship and leadership-focused charter high school situated in the heart of Denver than the school’s students themselves?
Brand Iron has teamed up with Denver Venture School, a first-year public charter school that embraces entrepreneurship and leadership. They have challenged its current student body to design and execute a recruiting plan to attract students for the 2009-10 school year. Teams, or what they call “crews,” made up of 12-15 students will compete against one another in an attempt to bring in the largest number of new student applications.
“We want to have our current scholars be the voice of recruitment,” said DVS Head of School, Ami Desai. “We have a bright and energetic group of scholars who are best suited to encourage other scholars to attend our school.”
The cool part is that the students must take the very entrepreneurial and (business-like) approach of submitting a written recruitment/marketing plan outlining various strategies and tactics, then work together to execute the plan and sign up students. The crews producing the most applications will win an assortment of prizes including Colorado Rockies baseball tickets, iPods and gift certificates. Michael Doyle is currently working with the DVS students and faculty to implement this challenge.
The school’s mission statement is “to enable a diverse group of students to achieve academic, social, and career success by offering a relevant, project-based, entrepreneurship and leadership focused curriculum in a small public school environment.”
They hope to generate at least 160 applications for next year’s freshman class of 120 and at least 80 applications for the 40 available spots for next year’s sophomore class.
Denver Venture School is public charter school that opened in August 2008 and is free to attend and open to all students in the metro Denver area. By 2011 DVS expects to serve approximately 400 students in grades 9 through 12.
Brand Iron is working with Denver Venture School on a pro bono basis.
Written by Jim Miller
Brand Iron’s holistic approach to strengthening brand value for clients often involves generating quality news media coverage. Recently, Academy Sports Turf and JE Dunn Construction, two long-time Brand Iron clients, were prominently featured in the regional trade and business media.
Academy Sports Turf was on the front page of the Daily Journal (a construction trade publication) detailing a project in which they installed synthetic turf along city streets in Aurora. Academy Sports Turf installed 45,000-square-foot of turf last fall in street medians for an experimental pilot project that the city believes can save water and maintenance costs.
JE Dunn was featured in a recent edition of the Denver Business Journal. Real Estate reporter Paula Moore wrote about trends in healthcare construction in a story entitled, “‘Green’ Hospitals Cheer Patients.” A photo of JE Dunn president Steve Hamline, and vice president of healthcare Bob Latas accompanied the story. JE Dunn recently completed construction on the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland and Memorial Hospital North in Colorado Springs.