Tag Archive for 'public relations'

The Powerful American Brand…Lessons for Branding Your Business

by Brian M. Fraley

The 4th of July holiday is associated with family vacations, parades, barbecues, and fireworks, but the true significance of the holiday is to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the birth of America as a free nation. It is also meant to recognize the men and women of our armed forces that have sacrificed so much to preserve the freedoms that we enjoy today.

10921420So how did the American brand come to be the most revered, timeless, and widely recognized brand in the world and how can you use those lessons to enhance the brand of your business. The American brand evokes strong emotions; no other brand can bring tears to the eyes of its believers. The concept of America is intrinsically wired into the American brand. The loyalty to the brand originated with the immigrants that arrived on our shores and carried though to future generations.

While a country and a business have many differences, they bear many similarities. The core principles defining the formation of a strong brand are consistent and there is much to be learned by trying to emulate the unrivaled American brand.

Consistent Use of a Powerful Symbol

Every strong brand requires a symbol that is used consistently over time. It would be difficult to identify a more globally recognized symbol than the American Flag. It is known in even the most isolated civilizations across the globe. While variations of the flag have been used, the red, white, and blue color scheme is associated with America around the world. In business, we use a logo and a certain color combination that best reflects the firm. In addition to creating a logo that properly reflects your company’s history, culture, and expertise, you must use the logo consistently over time in order to brand yourself in the marketplace. Repetition is key. The way you use your logo in print and digital formats must be sacred. If it will not reproduce properly in a certain application, don’t use it.

Effective Slogans Strengthen the Brand

There have been several slogans associated with America including “America the Beautiful,” “In God We Trust,” “E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One),” and “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.” All of the above define the culture of the country and are used by our citizenry to rally around the American brand. In corporate America, we use a slogan or tagline, which is a brief statement that defines your business, or product or service offering. It should be relevant, brief, and memorable. And it should be one that your employees are proud to represent. While a slogan is not essential, the proper combination of words can bring added strength to a brand.

Who are Your Brand Patriots?

The term “Patriot” originated during the American Revolution and included rebels from a diverse array of social, economic, ethnic and racial backgrounds that were committed to escaping British control. Perhaps the most famous Patriot associated with the American Revolution was Paul Revere who rode across Massachusetts on horseback and literally went door to door to warn his fellow citizens that the British troops were coming. Paul Revere accepted the danger of his mission and was ultimately captured by the British.

Who are your Brand Patriots? They can be employees or satisfied clients. These Brand Patriots build your brand through their actions and positive word of mouth because they believe in your mission. They are the lynchpin that holds your business together. Ask yourself continually whether you are still earning their loyalty. Are they still waving your flag and feeling “Patriotic” about your brand?

Sacred Documents

The Declaration of Independence adds to the mystique and provides a historical link to the value of the American brand. This document commemorated the escape from British rule and the birth of the United States as a free nation. This document was a reflection of the passionate speeches, fierce debates, and bloody battles. Much effort has gone to promote this as a sacred document in museums and historic venues across the U.S. Not to mention, there has been extensive literature published to educate generations of Americans on the significance of the Declaration of Independence and the events surrounding it.

While the story of your company and its history is not as compelling as the freedom of a nation, there is a story that must be told properly to elevate the power of your brand. There are some great legacies behind many firms in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industry. What makes your firm unique? Now take that aspect and use it to add value to your brand. This aspect should be incorporated into your Marketing materials, your media publicity, and all outgoing materials on your firm. Use it internally as well. Give your employees a concept to rally around. Was your founder an immigrant with an empty wallet and a dream, or a member of a minority group? Was your company founded during a difficult economy? Most people appreciate stories of perseverance in the face of adversity and it has a way of creating unity. In the case of the American Revolution, citizens united against foreign occupation.

Develop Meaningful Traditions and Customs

The American brand is also built on the use of deeply rooted customs and traditions. We wear red, white, and blue, fly the American flag, say the Pledge of Allegiance, and sing the National Anthem just to name a few. Most of these traditions celebrate historical events and milestones and create unity and pride among the American people.

Strengthening the brand of your business can also be accomplished through customs and traditions. The repetition of traditions can build comradery and morale among your employees, while increasing the standing of your brand in the eyes of your employees. One effective method is to host an off-site team building retreat. You might also consider a strategic planning process that allows your employees to work in teams to address the various aspects of your business. The Strategic Planning process should be employed annually; it’s not necessarily a once and done process. Other ideas include hosting an open house to commemorate a significant anniversary, new location, or new product line. Look for opportunities to bring your team together and they will be converted into Brand Patriots.

Fortify and Understand Your Brand

No business-related brand will ever rival the American brand. The extensive history, passion, and mass appeal of a nation like the United States is impossible to replicate. The core principles described above, however, can build and fortify your brand if properly implemented.

Take advantage of this 4th of July holiday to reflect on the true meaning of the American brand and the men and women that have sacrificed their lives to preserve it. Then take a moment to reflect on the state of your own firm’s brand. How strong is your brand? Who are your Brand Patriots? If you can answer affirmatively to these questions, be thankful, but never grow complacent when it comes to your brand.

Brian Fraley


Fraley AEC Solutions, LLC has been launched to provide Marketing and Public Relations services to the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry in Pennsylvania and the surrounding region. The firm was founded by Brian M. Fraley, who has been providing Marketing and Business Development solutions within the AEC sector for more than 20 years. Starting his career in a construction and industrial advertising firm, he served as editor of a regional Highway/Heavy Construction trade publication, Marketing Director for a statewide transportation construction association, and Director of Marketing and Business Development for a civil engineering firm.

“There are many firms that provide Marketing and Public Relations services, but they lack the in-depth knowledge of the AEC sector,” says Fraley. “This is an industry with a unique language, history, personality, and way of conducting business. Fraley AEC Solutions was formed to cater to this underserved and often misunderstood marketplace.”

No stranger to the start-up environment, Fraley started his career with a small family-owned construction advertising agency in Bucks County, Pa. “One thing that has not changed in 20 years is that firms in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction sector must differentiate themselves with effective Marketing practices,” Fraley explained. “That need has been exacerbated due to a number of paradigm shifts that are currently underway from the technology revolution to the emergence of the next generation of management. Fraley AEC Solutions has the historical knowledge of the industry, which will be necessary to help our clients to adapt to current and future industry shifts.”

George Smith of Topcon Positioning Systems Named PICA PR Person Of The Year

Publications in Construction and Agriculture (PICA), a subgroup of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), has named George Smith of Topcon Positioning Systems in Livermore, California as its Public Relations Person of the Year. Smith is

George Smith

Topcon’s Director of Communications Services, managing both internal and external communications.

Senior editors at PICA publications choose the Public Relations Person of the Year as an outstanding example of “best practices” in media relations. The criteria the group uses to evaluate nominees include reliability, accuracy, quality of information provided, trustworthiness and integrity.

PICA is one of AEM’s product-specific working groups. It promotes high operating standards among off-road equipment manufacturing industry trade media worldwide and fosters continuing educational and informational exchanges between manufacturers, industry suppliers and trade media.

Industry Veteran Denise Stoppleworth Forms IRONCLAD Marketing

Denise Stoppleworth, 14-year veteran of the equipment manufacturing industry, has formed IRONCLAD Marketing, a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations agency. Stoppleworth brings years of experience, proven leadership qualities and creativity to the new company, which was founded on the goal of providing a superior level of service to clients based on a new agency culture.

“This company was created with the vision of a different kind of agency structure,” Stoppleworth said. “We do more than just execute creative and written materials, we work with clients to really bring strategic insight into the marketing and promotional plan.” IRONCLAD primarily serves clients in a variety of markets in the equipment industry, including construction, industrial, landscape, recycling, rental, snow and ice management, utility and waste.

Stoppleworth notes that IRONCLAD is well positioned to serve smaller companies in search of marketing assistance. “There are a lot of smaller companies in the industry that would like help elevating their brand image,” she said. “Unfortunately, they can be intimidated by the cost of working with an agency and the fear of being too small, in turn getting lost. Our philosophy and operating procedure ensures these accounts will be comfortable with the relationship and will find their service as good as that of the million dollar account.”

In addition to President and Owner, Stoppleworth serves as Account Manager of IRONCLAD Marketing. Prior to founding the agency, she was Vice-President of The Promersberger Company, where she was involved in public relations, creative campaign development, strategic planning and account management. Stoppleworth graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and holds a BS degree in Mass Communications. She currently lives in Horace, N.D., with her husband Kevin and their three children.

Serving as Art Director for IRONCLAD Marketing is Mitch Wagner. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Wagner holds a BFA degree in graphic design. His industry experience includes the development and design of ads, literature pieces, direct mail and logos, along with photoshoot direction, video production, social media marketing and web design. Wagner resides in Moorhead, Minn., with his wife Krista and their son.

IRONCLAD Marketing recently added Lindsay Babb as Public Relations Director. Her industry experience includes public relations, creative materials and social media writing, special event coordination, media buying and photoshoot coordination. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a BS degree in Mass Communications, and currently lives in Fargo, N.D.

IRONCLAD Marketing is a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations agency, specializing in business-to-business communications in the equipment industry. Offering more than 20 years of combined experience, the staff at IRONCLAD is poised to meet the needs of clients in various markets of the equipment industry. Visit IRONCLAD Marketing’s new Web site at www.ironcladmktg.com, link directly to our Facebook page or find us at www.ironcladmktg.com/facebook.html. Contact us at PO Box 733, West Fargo, ND 58078, call 701.373.0062 or e-mail denise@ironcladmktg.com