Branding – what the heck is it?
An “expert” came to me with a proposed guest blog about branding. I looked at her site, Twitter, Fan Page. Her site had a rheumy picture and bland copy. Her Twitter had five tweets (still has five tweets months later), and her Fan Page had four posts in six months. Each site looked different. There was no consistent message. What kind of branding is that?
Why would I follow her advice (or feature her on my blog) when she can’t brand herself out of a paper bag? Couldn’t brand herself with two hands and a map.
In proper Word Shark fashion, I started to research. I Googled “branding.” I read a bunch of blogs and articles. And I asked my connections what they thought.
April Michelle Davis Editorial Inspirations – “My website, business card, print materials, and everything about my company has the same colors, fonts, look, and feel.”
I think the theme/scheme is important. You don’t want to be pastels and floral on one page, and dark and gruesome skulls on another page. You want your colors and your feel to translate from one page to the next.
Shark and blue
If you look at my Fan Page, you see a shark in blue water. If you look at my Twitter profile, you see a shark in blue water. My website – shark and blue. My blog – shark, blue.
Published writer Ilil Arbel – “Personal branding is positively grabbing someone’s attention by creating a unique, unforgettable image. Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which we market ourselves to others. Each one of us has to develop their own USP – Unique Selling Proposition – to communicate our brand, as the big corporations do.”
Ilil digs deeper – “Yes, I think branding goes deeper than a logo and a color scheme. It has to create an image that is strong enough to be remembered by concept, not just shape.”
I like what Ilil said about going deeper. Branding is not just a color scheme or font. It’s what you stand for, it’s what you deliver; it’s following through on promises and conducting oneself with professional integrity.
Elizabeth H. Cottrell of Heartspoken and Riverwood Writer says, “Branding is the development of a public identification through marketing, imagery, logo, and consistent messaging. In includes everything related to social media activity, advertising, etc. In a nutshell, it’s what pops into people’s minds when you or your company name is mentioned.”
I try to put forth a consistent message about the importance of editing and proofreading. I like to introduce new writers, bloggers, poets, musicians, and artists in my special monthly features. I am a bit (a bit?) sarcastic at times, but try to present it in a humorous fashion. I share what I’ve learned and pay it forward.
Artist and illustrator, Janice Phelps Williams – “Good branding is nothing more than knowing who you are, who you want to be, what you are good at, what people will respond to, and how to live your personal and professional life in a consistent manner. It is being consistent in words, in graphics, in subject. It is being focused and knowing where the boundaries are. These are the only rules I focus on. I don’t really think of my brand, but I know when something ‘doesn’t feel like me.’”
Doesn’t feel like me
There are certain bloggy features that don’t feel like me, i.e., book reviews, interviews, or constantly hawking myself or my services. So, I just don’t do any of those things.
What is “branding” to you? What is your consistent message?
“Become someone worth knowing. Then your book will become something worth buying.” – C. Hope Clark