Saturday, December 22, 2012

Branding yourself and your product

Obviously, marketing is a huge subject and way too large to cover in one session. So, we're going to drill down a little and pick out one particular area of interest to discuss, i.e., branding.

Is it important to brand yourself or your products? That's like asking if it's important to have a period at the end of a sentence. Everything you do in your marketing program should be related to the image you're trying to create. But before doing anything, and perhaps having to undo it later, you need to decide what that image is, or will be.

The image you create may be centered around your main character (Harry Potter) or yourself as the creator of that character or work (Stephen King). Keep in mind that everything you do, every email, every Facebook post, every Tweet, every query—everything—is a reflection of your image or your brand. Keep in mind that, as your visibility grows, more and more people are watching and listening to what you say and do. Make sure your actions and words reflect the image you're trying to create.

Image retention is a product of words and graphics. And repetition. When you begin thinking about creating your brand, there are three things you need to consider in order to produce something that will be memorable. If you decide to produce a logo, keep those things in mind, and use that visual image at every opportunity. We could do a very lengthy post here on image creation and how the words, letters, typeface, arrangement, color, space, etc., all play a part in the feeling or mood that image creates. But this isn't the place for that much information. At least not today.

Let's continue and define the three primary elements required to create a unique brand or image. These are not the visual elements involved, but the base elements and essential parts that need to be included in the initial creation stage.

HONEST: First, the image or brand you create must be honest. It must be aligned with your beliefs about who you are or who your characters are.

MEANINGFUL: The brand or vision you create for yourself or your work must be relevant to the targeted customer, the reader of your works. If not, they will have difficulty relating and sales will not be as high as they could be if you build a bridge to connect.

DIFFERENT: There must be something uncommon, something significantly different between your image and all the others that are out there competing for attention. In business this is sometimes referred to as the USP or the Unique Selling Proposition.

So there you have a basic narrative on branding. It isn't a high-tech or an in-depth study by any means. But it may be enough to get you started in the right direction. As always, if you'd like to leave a comment on the subject, please feel free to do so. I like knowing there's someone out there reading this.


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