Making a Brand: Tips for Managing the Spotlight

By: Amanda Braniecki

Admit it. When you saw the start of this blog post, your mind immediately went to the insanely popular and, may I add, extremely addictive Netflix docu-series, “Making a Murder.” While I still have many questions surrounding this case (just ask my co-workers) that will hopefully be answered in Season 2, the more relevant question is: what are some valuable lessons brands can takeaway from this ongoing phenomenon?

Unlike newspaper articles and social media posts that can create a viral sensation in a matter of minutes with little to no warning, the stars of Making a Murderer were given the luxury of time. They knew their brands would be taking center stage for millions of prying eyes, and some prepared for the attention better than others (i.e. take a look at defense attorney Dean Strang’s website versus that of prosecuting attorney Ken Kratz’s website).

While your brand may not be part of a Netflix documentary anytime soon, if you know that becoming a household name is just around the corner due to another high-profile opportunity, here are some proactive tips you should consider implementing before your brand’s big reveal.

Check for skeletons. If someone does a Google search of you and/or your company, what are they going to find? If you don’t already know the answer to that question, you should absolutely check. First impressions are critical, and you want to make sure you know exactly what people will find when searching for your brand.

Invest in your success. If you want your brand to be taken seriously, create a comprehensive brand standards guide that dictates how to define your brand, uses for your logo, and exact company colors and fonts to ensure your brand is consistent in every internal and external touch point. It’s also a good idea to invest in an updated website that properly reflects your brand’s image and message. In a tech savvy world, a bad website can attract the wrong kind of national attention—just ask Ken Kratz.

Balance your interaction with your audience. The platforms for consumers to share their every observation and opinion of your brand have increased tenfold with the use of social media—use that to your advantage. There is a fine line between stepping in and walking away when your brand meets criticism, and you’ll need to learn to walk that tightrope. Listen just as much as, if not more than, you talk to your target audience. Correct any factually incorrect information and be appreciative of and receptive to constructive criticism.

Following these simple, yet effective tips, will help ensure that your brand is ready and able to enter the spotlight.