So, based on some emails from my last post on branding (Branding...where to begin) as well as comments in that post it seems that people struggle with "branding" so let's take a step back.
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."
The important part here is distinct. Let's break that down a bit...
- (often followed by 'from') not alike; different in nature or quality
- Easy to perceive; especially clearly outlined
- Constituting a separate entity or part
- Recognizable; marked
- Clearly or sharply defined to the mind
Just like snowflakes no two people are alike. We are all different from one another. Some conventional wisdom says "align yourself with something people already know". You've heard people pitch their books this way:
- It's like Mad Max meets Jaws
- A combination of Aliens, Driving Ms Daisy and Benji.
- and so on.
Easy to perceive; especially clearly outlined
Have you ever watched a television commercial and said to yourself .... I have no idea what they were selling (was it the jeans of the hot guy, the car, his glasses?) This is an example of a message working against what you are attempting. Does it meet the first requirement (unique) probably - but to me this is marketing gone astray. It's done so some big ad exec can put it in their portfolio - look how cutting edge I was...but ultimately did was it effective. Which means did people embrace the product or the idea...nope because they had no idea what you were talking about.
Ah..here's a nice concept. You want to be easy to recognize. You want people to immediately - go - Hey that's from Robin or Michael or whoever. Once you start to become "known" then people will gravitate to you when they see (recognize you).
Clearly or sharply defined in your mind.
This is the final goal...(not sales btw - those are results not goals - thank you Simon Sinek). Your brand is going to give people an impression about you (and later your work). Your goal is to show them what you are.
Some people shudder at the concept of branding...."I don't want to brand I just want to be me" they wail. Well guess what....you're way ahead of the game because that's what branding is ... showing the world who you are and what you're about.
Branding should be effortless. Because all you have to do is be yourself. Since you are here reading this blog we can use me as an example. If I were to think of words that I "hope" people would think about me they would be.
But then again - I may be completely delusional. (I've been accused of this in the past). So tell me some of your impressions of me (good and bad) as it will help me to know if I'm on the right track or not and can be used as a baseline for as we go on to the next post on branding.