BRAND BUILDING

By Mohammad Suyanto

Most people assume that building the first brand is to make use of large-scale advertising. However, facts prove it that big companies in the world have built their brands for the first time by utilizing public relations that involve a variety of programs designed to promote and / or to maintain the company image or products. Advertising is needed to maintain the brand in order not for a company to collapse, but not to build a brand for the first time.

Microsoft utilized public relations when it launched its new operating system, Windows 95, which was not actually a completely new product; however, it is very easy to apply, and so is Macintosh. The launching of Windows 95 dated August 24, 1995 was a tumultuous day for it. The Wall Street Journal estimated that 3000 cover stories, 6852 stories and over 3,000,000 words would be devoted to Windows 95 from July 1 until August 24. Microsoft teams around the world did publicity to attract attention. Windows 95 banner was hoisted by 600 feet from the Toronto CN tower. Red, yellow and green colors were sprinkled on the logo of Windows 95 on the Empire State Building in New York. The London Times was paid so as to give out 1.5 free million copies of its daily publications to the public. When Windows 95 was sold at 90 dollars, thousands of people lined up to buy it. At the end of the first week, sales in the United States alone reached 108 million dollars. Microsoft was to pay 220 million dollars for public relations. Why did Bill Gates spend so much for public relations?. There were two possible reasons. Firstly, Microsoft was worried about the defects found in earlier versions of the operating system so that computer users might be reluctant to buy it, and in this respect, Microsoft wanted to overcome this reluctance. Secondly, Macintosh quickly decreased its computer prices with the hope of selling more Apple computers before Windows 95, which was similar to the Macintosh operating system, was sold in the market. Microsoft wanted to stem the flow of Macintosh sales by selling Windows 95 packages as much as  possible within the shortest possible time.

Anita Roddick built The Body Shop, one of the most well-known, world brands, without advertising, but she did public relations all over the world tirelessly to introduce her products. Wal-Mart, one of the most spectacular, world corporates, only slightly put ads. Similarly, Intel, Dell, Compaq, Gateway, Oracle, Cisco, SAP, and Sun Microsystems were created for the first time in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Forbes, and Fortune, by publicity, not by advertising premises. Also, Primagama educational Institution, IMKI, STMIK Amikom, PT Time Excellindo, PT. Vision Surya Mataram, PT Radio MQ FM, PT. GITS, Amikom.NET, and Amikom Traning Center, were all started by making use of public relations.