Instead of diving into the deep end with brand positioning, audience definitions, demographics, search densities and all of those other sexy mindsets you need to develop to ensure that you are actually talking to the right people, let’s just examine the ways your brand can grab attention both online and off.

If you have very deep pockets, a friendly bank and no teenage kids to fund, you can actually buy attention using the time honoured money pit we call advertising. From having your best friend patrol the town centre with a sandwich board, (and the most annoying chat up lines in the world), through to product placement in the latest $100 million blockbuster (where the superhero wears your company tee shirt as he opens your bi-folding door and saves the planet from your competitor’s robotic Venusian-blind army) – paid advertising can be extremely effective but obscenely expensive. Even the humble Google pay per click can run away with your wallet if you are not too careful.

The second tried and tested route is to harass your audience until they beg for mercy and place an order for something they didn’t want. This could use the overly happy/over confident patter of your loyal sandwich board pal, trying to sign up people to give money to you by direct debit- (our town is full of these charity fundraising pains in the rear!!). As intrusive and usually driven by a stolen copy of BT’s OSIS database are the PPI/Personal Accident/Pension Plan/Funeral plan/Energy plan/ Any plan/ callers trying to sell everything you don’t need, with of course a SPAM email campaign to further irritate you in the comfort of your own home. I’m not saying that a good, old fashion mailshot doesn’t work, but there is a time and a place guys!

If these two aren’t up your street then why don’t you simply beg for attention. This approach is called PR and involves ingratiating yourself with members of the press and bribing them with alcohol to place articles in chosen, targeted publications – print and online – to unveil the scientific benefits and the government survey that lifts you to the top of the food chain and keeps you there until tomorrows edition rolls off the press!

So far, you may think that too much ‘tongue in cheek’ is being applied. After all, great advertising, even if it is based on a viral shoot on your iPhone, can be amazingly effective, as can well targeted Google PPC campaigns. Well placed PR, either as advertorial or editorial, can open new avenues for you and your product or service and indeed build valuable relationships with key members of the press.

In my humble opinion, however, I believe you should work hard to earn attention and build reputation and this begins with the creation of interesting, engaging and above all original content that not only communicates the essence and value components of your brand, but also lifts the kimono as to its character and personality. Publishing interesting and valuable content online – for free – will not only allow you to touch your audience, but will also encourage others to distribute your message across their social media groups – effectively recruiting them to recommend you to their readership for little or no reward.

A word of warning though – please don’t ever ask me to play Candy Fruit Animal Crush Puppy Nightmare or I will forever  consign you to the deepest pit I can find Lol !


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