MEANING OF PUBLIC RELATIONS The British Institute of Public Relations defines public relations as: "a…
PUBLICITY, PUBLIC RELATIONS AND PRODUCT DIFFERENTIATION
Publicity may be defined as news about products or companies, appearing in the form of editorial material without cost to the sponsor in the press, on radio or television etc. Large departmental stores use publicity for fashion related lines.
Uses of Publicity
- Publicity accords credibility to a company.
- It dramatises a company and its products or services.
- It secures a favourable public image for the firm.
- It creates awareness for a company and its products or services.
Forms of Publicity
- Feature stories.
- News conference.
- Work visits.
- Press release or News items.
Public relations is another important aspect of promotion. This is a deliberate but sustained effort by a firm to establish a good image for the organisation in the eye of its numerous public and by so doing create goodwill and favourable trading (business) environment for the company and its products or services.
Public relations can take many forms. Sometimes it could be initiating and executing a development project, e.g. provision of pipe borne water, electricity etc for the host community, scholarship awards to some students from the community. The list of things an organisation can offer to the public under public relations budget remains inexhaustible.
Product Differentiation and Branding
Product differentiation can be defined as any means by which a producer attempts to distinguish his product from similar products made by rival producers. It is the practice by which a company offers its product in unique colours, different brands and packaging in order to make it look different from that of other products. They hope to establish in customer’s minds that their products are superior and preferable to competing brands.
Branding is a general term covering brand names, designs, trademarks, symbols which may be used to distinguish one firm’s product from that of another. Branding is the act of giving a distinctive label or name to a product.
The brand name may be registered as a trade mark, thus protecting it from competitors. The main aim of branding is to distinguish one manufacturer’s products from similar product of other manufacturers, e.g. Coke, Fanta, Pepsi etc.
Argument (Reasons) for Branding Individual Product
- Branding encourages standardised pricing.
- It facilitates self-selection.
- It ensures easy recognition of product.
- Brand loyalty may give a producer greater control over the market.
- Branding is useful for introducing new products.
- It prevents the adulteration of the branded product.
- Branding leads to a more readily acceptance of a product by middlemen.
- It allows the producer to enjoy some form of monopoly.
- Branding is an assurance that the quality of the product will be maintained.
- It makes market segmentation easier as different brands of similar products may be developed to meet the needs of specific categories of people.
- Branding helps to differentiate products.
- It informs the customers about the existence of a product.
Argument Against Branding
- The cost of branding may be prohibitive.
- It is disadvantageous to the retailer in that he will have to stock many varieties of the same product in order to please all his customers.
- Too many brands may confuse customers.
- It creates false buying on the part of the consumers.