I volunteered to write a blog entry for the company I work at last week because it was ‘Brand Week.’ The piece was due in two days and I had no idea what to write, partnered with someone who also wasn’t sure what to write.
Branding a department with a product brand was the theme, and no expert, I had to think in the simplest terms what it meant to me. I considered the usual stuff, Apple, Microsoft, Coke, Nike, Disney, Google, obviously all brands we know.
After sleeping on it and researching, I learnt that when we consider a brand, it’s not just about the product or the logo, but the company culture as a whole. There’s an expectation when anyone mentions a brand, that those values in the brand are reflected in the company culture (see Building a brand through customer service here).
So yeah, I got some ideas, branding is in the culture and I started thinking, if I were to brand myself (not with a hot pokey iron) what would my brand be?
I read more about branding, how important it is people start to understand your brand of writing and your brand of persona, who you are as a person. It all sounds very ambiguous, but here goes,
‘Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers .’ – See Branding.
So when you want to brand yourself, your approach must be unique and interesting. The ‘cool’ factor plays a part, because why would anyone follow you if you’re not ‘cool,’ ‘down with it,’ or ‘engaging’ to others?
Perhaps you do more of that through your writing, that’s where your branding is. How you look and the image you carry might not be as important as what type of book you author and your style of writing (people are more interested in your book, not your jacket).
Not everyone sees or cares what an author looks like when reading their work. Perhaps they can imagine what sort of person you are through your writing, which would be the initial brand perception readers have of you.
Building your brand is engagement through your audience. Signings and talks all contribute to the perception of your brand. Even this blog gives people an insight into who I am, though whether that’s good or bad, hopefully the honest intention comes through, otherwise I need rebranding.