Consider investors and the media when developing your brand platform

 Finishing up on the stakeholder groups that might affect you brand, I’ll just touch on two: media and investors.

Media forms have changed, but not the needTo include these in a brand platform (aka the brand-building blueprint), usually involves no more than making sure the brand does not violate a principle of investor or media relations.

Therefore at minimum, the platform needs to be reviewed by your PR and investor relations personnel for problems and issues.

In an ideal situation, those functions should probably be represented in the platform formulation process early on. Their inputs may save time and effort later, and their new perspective might produce some branding strategy nuances that can strengthen the brand as a whole.

For instance, the increased use of PR activities is a trend of significance with the declining effectiveness of mass advertising. So adopting branding characteristics that will generate newsworthiness and continuing or annual coverage through sponsorships, contests, and other experiential activities may be significant.

Investors are human, tooIn the case of investors and the financial press, more than financial statements are important. Many investors invest on emotion. (I’m not sure it holds true today, but in the 1960’s and 1970’s children held most of the stock certificates, some for as little as five shares or so, in Ringling Brothers and in Disney Studios.)

Investors are also customers, or should be. Therefore, the brand signals important to customers should be of concern to investors as well.

For start-up companies, the brand may be the only tangible aspect prospective investors will actually be exposed to prior to investing. Those brand signals will be a strong influence on their decisions, and must coincide with the words in the prospectus or private placement memorandum.

So at least keeps investors, the media, distributors and retailers, employees, joint venture partners in mind even as you fashion a brand compelling to customers and prospects. It’s a complex task, but well worth the effort. Your brand will be strong.

Martin Jelsema

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