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Featured Post: Building Your Company Image and Brand on a Budget

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With a changing business landscape, entrepreneurs have more opportunities than ever to create small brands and businesses that can compete with larger corporate entities. We now see a rise in young CEOs spearheading the development of new business models, challenging the dinosaurs of the Fortune 500 with creativity and foward-thinking.

However, most new businesses have trouble getting on the consumer radar. Why? It all comes back to building an image and reputation for yourself.

Hiring a public relations expert to take care of your image-building needs could cost you an arm and a leg. Thus, it’s not something that is recommended for start-ups that generate less than $300,000 a year. As a young CEO, it’s important to make wise, economical decisions that won’t leave your business broke. That said, it’s true that you need a PR campaign that puts your company on the radar and builds a positive image for you and your business.

Here are a few tips that can help you create brand exposure and generate a positive company image without burning through a year’s budget:

News Releases

There’s nothing more inspiring than the story of a CEO starting a Fortune 500 company in his mid to late 20s! If you’re a young CEO, use your website to tell your story! This is one of the most tried and true business techniques to generate buzz for you as a brand. In fact, this is the kind of story that many online finance news organizations and blogs flock to.

How does a company grab a media organization’s attention? By sending out a news release. Writing a news release can be done by anyone in your company with good writing skills. In fact, many new CEOs write their own news releases. Freelancers usually charge a minimum of $80 per release; by writing it yourself, you can save yourself a lot of money while also setting the tone for your own business.

Expertise

As a CEO, it’s absolutely crucial to know the ins and outs of your industry. You are a leader; thus, you should be well armed when it comes to expertise. For example, if your company specializes in mobile app development, you have to be able to explain the process of building an app. By becoming an expert, you increase your credibility. This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many CEOs there are who really know very little about their products or industries.

What does this mean when it comes to image? It allows for people in your industry to recognize you as an expert in your field, which in turn generates media attention, gets you mentioned in case studies and scholarly sources and validates your brand for consumers. This credibility also extends to your company image. Soon, you’ll be asked to conduct research for news organizations and authoritative publications.

This form of image building is developed through an earned reputation and via networking.

Branding

Branding is just not about slapping your brand everywhere you want, it’s about doing so strategically. Researching your demographics and the proper implementation for you brand strategy is the lifeblood of economic branding strategies.

Firstly, you may want to find out where your demographics are concentrated. Then, you may want to understand how to effectively reach them, which could range from offering trial services or offering the public sample products or disbursing branded items (gifts).

Often, companies will order special promotional materials, items like customized backpacks, coffee cups, office supplies or even apparel to spread their brand’s message. The more people that see the brand, the more recognizable it will be in the future. The more recognizable, the stronger the company image.

For a young CEO, making a wise, cost-saving decision for a startup can be difficult, but like in any business, these decisions are always left to upper management, especially when it comes to image and brand building strategies.

By knowing about cheap alternatives to expensive PR campaigns, young CEOs will be able to make great decisions that not only benefit the brand name, but will help build a good understanding of budgetary strategies.

What are some some economic, branding and image solutions you’ve had success with in the past?

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Profile photo of Gresham Harkless Jr.
Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.
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