As people, we’re often judged by the company we keep. Whether rightly or wrongly, the people we associate with indicate what sorts of people we are.
And this psychology goes into corporate branding as well.
The people and organizations you associate with — from your company’s employees, customers and investors, to your business partners, the organizations you sponsor and the publications where you choose to advertise — all reflect on the character of your business.
Endorsements from the Right People
We will more easily take the word of a Formula 1 driver (or his mechanic) that a motor oil is high quality, than with someone who simply drives to and from their office.
But there are also instances where more “ordinary” people make good spokespeople.
George Plimpton was a writer known for having no particular athletic skill but being willing to try things like playing football or swing on a circus trapeze. Although it looks dated now, he did an endorsement for early sports video games designed to give amateurs the opportunity to play in the big leagues. Plimpton isn’t a pro, but he knows what it’s like to be an amateur, which makes him an excellent authority.
Regular customers can also be a great source of recommendations, and the internet has made it easier to write and find reviews from anyone. These people might be more easy to identify with than celebrities, and show what an average person might think about your product or service.
Avoiding Negative Influences
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson recently faced allegations of child abuse. In response, Radisson Hotels quickly and publicly stopped sponsoring the Vikings. In doing so, Radisson received widespread attention.
In one day, it received 58 percent of the online impressions and mentions it had garnered over the previous three months. And this was just from dropping sponsorship.
Think about what the people and organizations you deal with say about your brand, and make sure that it’s positive. Your company looks best when it’s is seen among good company.