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Abbi Hoxleigh on Crafting a Unique Identity in Crowded Markets


Abbi Hoxleigh on Crafting a Unique Identity in Crowded Markets

Director, Little PR Rock Marketing Limited


Could you tell us about your business and its brand identity?

Little PR Rock has become synonymous with communication, not just as a concept but as a dynamic process that efficiently transacts knowledge among all stakeholders. My fervour lies in 'issues advocacy', particularly in mental health, connecting with others who share this value. I thrive in people-based businesses, where human connections are the crux. The approach centres on articulating our message and nurturing concepts, ideas, creativity, and visions. This enthusiasm is palpable in my interactions and is recognised and appreciated by those I work with. My PR journey in mental health advocacy is a testament to leading by example and demonstrating bravery, endurance, perseverance, and resilience. These qualities don't just define my work; they are my tagline, encapsulating the ethos of my brand and the transformative power of effective communication.


Little PR Rock's brand identity resonates with a deep-seated passion for fostering reputation and credibility. I am dedicated to amplifying voices with stories that demand attention, aiming to elevate awareness, share diverse perspectives, and provide insightful information on matters close to the heart of business owners, authors, and speakers. These narratives are not just stories; they also represent the deepest core values and convictions of those behind them.


How has your unique brand identity contributed to the success and recognition of your business in the market?

The success and recognition of my business in the past year directly reflect the success of how my brand identity resonates deeply with my core values and mission. The clarity and consistency of my message across various platforms - be it in the press, on social media, or in person - have significantly amplified my presence and impact. By firmly embedding my dedication to reputation, credibility, and advocacy for issues like mental health into every aspect of my communication, I have attracted individuals and organisations that share these ideals. This alignment has drawn respect from my audience and served as a source of inspiration for many. The passion and authenticity that I bring to the table, emphasising the human aspect of business and the power of effective communication, have become pivotal in my business's growth.


These elements, combined with my unwavering commitment to issues advocacy and a focus on meaningful, values-driven narratives, explain my business's recent increased traction and success. My journey, marked by perseverance and resilience, underscores the value of staying true to one's principles in building a successful brand.


Can you share the journey of how you developed and refined your brand over time?

My branding journey was marked by the challenge of building confidence in my business vision and identity. I catalysed this process of self-discovery and refinement through authorship, professional qualifications, and insightful client feedback, which highlighted my innate strengths in reputation and credibility - values deeply rooted in personal experiences of feeling a loss in these areas during difficult times in my life. Integrating my journey with my professional ethos, particularly in mental health advocacy and public speaking, initially presented a challenge but eventually became a defining aspect of my brand.


Every experience we've journeyed through moulds our values, which, in turn, profoundly influences our decisions and the paths we take in our business endeavours. My community mental health worker background and personal struggles aren't just a chapter in my life; they are a fundamental part of who I am and vibrantly resonate with my current role as a speaker. This experience doesn't just run through my veins – it's the heartbeat of my commitment and the lens through which I now view and address the world in my professional pursuits.


Interactions with clients played a crucial role in identifying and reinforcing my strengths in PR. Their insights helped me realise the importance of perseverance and resilience in my work, especially given my experiences. Finally, investing in ongoing professional development, particularly in areas relevant to my brand values, including my CIPR Diploma and mental health issues is crucial to my brand identity built on demonstrating a strong reputation and credibility. In this way, our voices are amplified as well as qualified.


Branding in crowded markets can be challenging. What obstacles did you face in establishing a strong brand, and how did you overcome them?

Differentiating myself in the PR market was daunting, especially amongst seasoned freelancers promising extensive contacts and client success. However, my focus shifted to creating impactful results, influencing decision-makers, and fostering public good, transcending the traditional client-centric approach of PR. This results-driven perspective, coupled with my empathy for journalists and a desire to tell compelling stories, solidified my brand's unique stance in the industry - not just as a PR professional but as a catalyst for meaningful change and a voice for stories that demand to be heard.


How do you ensure that every customer interaction reflects your brand identity, and why is this consistency important?

In every customer interaction, I prioritise a strategy deeply ingrained in authenticity, transparency, and honesty. This approach is aligned with my brand identity and dedication to ensure each conversation is meaningful and connects on a deeper level. This uniformity is pivotal in reinforcing my brand's ethos across various platforms, including social media, direct client communication, and public speaking. Educating and advocating are also fundamental aspects of my interactions. Each opportunity informs clients about the importance of ethical communication, going beyond business transactions to underscore my brand's concern for broader societal issues.


My experiences in mental health and overcoming communication challenges are integral to my client relationships. Sharing these aspects of my journey helps build trust and authenticity, showing clients the depth of my commitment to the values I champion. By recognising the best way to communicate with clients, I tailor my interactions to meet each client's unique needs and preferred communication style. This personalised and accessible approach to communication is vital to my brand identity. Feedback and adaptation are essential to ensure my services evolve to meet client needs, demonstrating my commitment to communication, empathy and understanding.



In practical terms, how do you measure the impact and success of your branding efforts?

To effectively measure the success of my branding efforts, I utilise an approach that emphasises client feedback, progress tracking, and the analysis of broader engagement metrics. Client testimonials and case studies are invaluable, offering deep insights into how my empathetic listening and communication skills have transformed their business and personal journeys. By monitoring client progress, I can gauge the clarity and growth they achieve, further validating the impact of my work. The rate of client referrals and repeat business also serves as a testament to the trust and value placed in my PR services.


Additionally, social media engagement provides a vital measure of success; the interactions and sentiments expressed by my audience on these platforms reflect the resonance of my brand messaging. Building relationships with the media and assessing the quality and relevance of opportunities that arise organically from potential new clients are also crucial indicators of whether my value message is clear. These opportunities often result from effective brand positioning and the strength of my public reputation, underlying the success of my branding strategy in creating meaningful, enduring, and transformative client relationships while simultaneously expanding my influence and reach.



Can you share an example of a branding misstep, what you learned from it, and how it influenced your approach going forward?

In my early experience with public speaking to a small group, I encountered a humbling challenge that resonated with my brand's commitment to authenticity. Accustomed to stage dynamics, I initially struggled with voice modulation and presence in this more intimate setting. This situation reminded me of the importance of adaptability and authenticity in my approach. It underscored that effective communication isn't about overpowering the audience but rather about engaging with them genuinely and humbly.


While initially a setback, this episode became a valuable lesson in embodying my brand's core values. It taught me the significance of adjusting my style to maintain authenticity across various platforms. It was a practical example of my brand ethos: to connect and communicate in a way true to myself and the audience's needs. This experience reinforced my dedication to being a speaker and an empathetic communicator who understands and respects the dynamics of every interaction, whether on a grand stage or a small room. The lesson in humility and adaptability has since been a guiding principle in my work, ensuring that my brand remains grounded, authentic, and always in tune with the audience I am addressing.


What key pieces of advice would you give to new businesses trying to establish a strong brand in a competitive market?

For new businesses striving to carve out a strong brand presence in today's competitive market, embracing issues advocacy as a core aspect of 'brand activism' is crucial. This involves championing causes that resonate deeply with your personal and business ethos, embodying a brand that stands for more than just its products or services. Ensuring that your values resonate with your business's values, this alignment lends authenticity to your brand and reinforces your commitment to the issues you stand for. It also helps build a brand identity that is true to your beliefs and principles.


Taking risks for the greater good can differentiate your brand and demonstrate your dedication to your values. Integrating personal and business values lends authenticity to your brand and strengthens your commitment to these causes, making your brand a platform for meaningful change. Embracing the courage to take calculated risks in advocacy can set your brand apart, showing a dedication to your values even when it means championing challenging or unpopular causes. Establishing your brand values as a crisis buffer, and a reliable source of stability and solutions, especially in turbulent times, can reinforce trust among stakeholders and build a resilient reputation.


Attracting clients, employees, investors, and other stakeholders through shared values creates a community around your brand values, fostering loyalty and a sense of belonging. Being open to trial and adaptation is critical in a constantly evolving market; it ensures your strategies stay adequate and relevant. Finally, using graceful and elegant communications to promote your values effectively conveys your message and sets a tone of respect and thoughtfulness, making your advocacy efforts more persuasive and impactful. This holistic approach, blending issue advocacy with a steadfast commitment to values and elegant communication, forms the foundation for a robust and resonant brand in a values-driven market landscape.







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