Smash your brand


This is a guest post from Chris Marritt. Chris is a former national newspaper journalist who has been plying his trade in PR on the agency side for two years, and blogging for six months. His blog, , looks at PR, marketing and journalism as he climbs the steep learning curve from Hack to Flack.

smashed glass

I read a post on Shel Holtz’s blog recently about Shell Oil’s use of video online and more particularly, what he calls ‘Edge Content’.

Edge content, Shel says, is about allowing people to encounter their brand where they find it, and can be seen really well on widgets down the side of people’s blogs or websites.

Not only does this open up your brand to more people, but encountering brands in this unobtrusive way is far more likely to lead people back – presumably away from the edge – to your website, where they can engage with you more fully.

Todd Defren, on his PR Squared blog, relates to it by saying he encourages his clients to Think Like A Cannon:

“You want to blow your content to smithereens. Let shards of content scatter across the web; the trails of shrapnel created by this process will lead back to you and strengthen your brand.”

It reminded me (apart from Hansel and Gretel) of a piece by Martin Lindstrom on a Times MBA podcast recently (transcript here), in which he talks of smashing your brand.

Work on all aspects of your brand, and on how people encounter it using all their senses, so that if it was smashed into a thousand pieces, somebody could still find one tiny fragment – a colour, a sound, a smell – and know it is a piece of you.

Whether it is through instant recognition of a massively powerful brand, or by following a trail to complete a jigsaw, the key appears to be in getting fragments of you out as far as possible.

This doesn’t apply just to photos and videos, and to the way technology platforms allow people to encounter them.

For me, working in PR, this is about the value of short quotes from spokespeople as well as main features on the business; it is the importance of hitting the target audience both in context and out, yet all the time, remaining consistent; it is about scattering big and small pieces, but making sure they are all part of the same jigsaw.

(image credit: poeckie via flickr)