One of the main aims companies wish to achieve is to continuously promote their products and brands in order to acquire a greater amount of customers. In order for companies to be able to reach out to a wider range of buyers they have to create an awareness of their product and brand among their target audience. Once their target audience has knowledge about the product's existence it will be essential, in order for the company to succeed, to maintain customers' interest in their product and create brand loyalty. To do so companies have to promote their product and brands, therefore promotion is one of the most important and fundamental factors in the evolution and improvement of a company. In this essay we will closely analyse the different ways in which companies are able to promote their products and brands.
Firstly, advertising is one of the main and more commonly used ways chosen by companies to promote their products. Advertising is basically a non-personal way of communication which aims to persuade potential consumers to purchase a certain product from a certain brand or service. Advertising can take place in numerous forms in the media, there are a great amount of options for companies to perform their advertising. Some of the most frequently used are newspapers, magazines, television, radio, cinema, posters, emails etc. Depending on the company's budget and on the target audience their product may have, companies will choose the advertising option which best suits them. As any other way of promotion it has both advantages and disadvantages. In the first place, advertising has a great potential as it is able to reach a big target market which increases the amount of possible consumers and their awareness of the product, as well as increasing the notoriety of the brand's name. In addition, advertising has a great persuasive power, it has the capacity to easily increase the need and curiosity of the product and brand among the consumers. This obviously benefits the company as it offers a possible increase in their sales and brand loyalty. However, it is also true that advertising is one of the most expensive ways of promotion. Companies usually have to pay high costs in order to get the advertising format and type they wish, this results in the company's costs increasing which is obviously not ideal for them. Furthermore, advertising has legal restrictions. A great amount of companies are not able to create their advertisements as they would wish to , some images, words or scenes can be considered as an offence to certain people and therefore limit the company's ideas of advertising. As well as this, in some occasions advertisements may tend to not present a true picture of what the product really is, this can result in consumers being disappointed and the company having losses in sales.
Secondly, sales promotion is another way of promotion frequently used by companies usually with the aim of stimulating the sales of a product. It basically consists in achieving this aim by means of price reductions, free samples of the product, coupons, entering in competitions etc This type of promotion has certain benefits such as increasing the fact of people being attracted to your store and aid in selling certain products which in other circumstances would not be sold. The major problem companies may have when using this type of promotion is the time length it has, it’s benefits are temporary and therefore it will only obtain positive results for a certain period of time.
In addition to these ways of promotion, personal selling is another option companies may use. Personal selling takes place when a representative from the company spreads information about the product and selling it as well as providing assistance with possible technical problems customers may have with the product. On the one hand by using personal selling, oral communication with the customers takes place which increases the chances of consumers being convinced and buying the product. Moreover, any questions and doubts customers may have can be easily answered by the sales representative of the company, this provides customers with confidence and trust in the company. On the other hand, customers only see the sales representative, therefore this person who represents the company may affect consumers in their decision taking when buying the product, based on the person’s physical appearance or way of being. Apart from this, personal selling is the most expensive way of promotion, which means that companies will have to spend greater amounts of their money on this way of promotion.
Finally, public relations is also commonly used by companies to promote their products. It generally focuses more on the image the product may have among people, where the most important element is the publicity of the product, therefore it is any mention of the product, either read, viewed or heard. The most relevant benefit for the company is the fact<that this form of promotion is not paid for, which obviously provides the company with good results with no expenses. However, when people are given the opportunity of expressing their opinion about the product it may not always be in the interest of the company and it may not always be the correct one. This can deteriorate the image of the product and company resulting in losses in sales.
To sum up, companies have a wide range of ways to promote their products, they should take into account the budget they have and specially the advantages and disadvantages of each type of promotion in order to choose the adequate one for their company.

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