Tuesday, September 25

Branding: Not As Painful As It Sounds

Branding: Not As Painful As It Sounds

Branding is a mystery to me. Those in the know say a writer must do it, but I never knew what 'branding' meant or why anyone would commit their precious time and resources to it. It could just be me, but doesn't branding sound uncomfortable? Isn't that something done to cattle?

Today I read a post by Copy Blogger that did the impossible, it explained branding to me. Here are the parts that did it:

"Branding is just another name for creating a perception."

"A brand is a promise. It's an expectation of an experience."
 
 That I can understand. For instance, Stephen King is branded as a horror writer. It doesn't matter that he writes a heck of a lot more than horror (Stand By Me for instance), when Jane Doe hears the name "Stephen King" she thinks horror.

When Stephen King's name is on a novel we expect it to be a horror story, that's the promise, that is the experience we want.

The very essence of brands doesn’t lie within your brand colors or site design, even though those are important.

The essence of a brand lies within its meaning. And words have meaning. Words matter.
As we all know, the goal of writing is the manipulation of your readers' emotions. That makes it easier to understand branding because when we brand ourselves we take ourselves as the subject of our own story. This story creates an expectation of an experience. A Stephen King novel? We expect to be scared, terrified, creeped out.

Sometimes, like Volvo, we don't know what our brand is going to be when we start out. I'm pretty sure Stephen King didn't think about branding when he wrote Carrie.

I'm glad I read Why Content Marketing is the New Branding. The article talks about more than what I've discussed here, but the revelation for me was in thinking of a brand as a story, my story. It is the mask, the persona, I hold up to the public. I find the idea both gleefully mischievous and sinister.

Other articles you might like:
- Want Help With Editing? Try Free Editing Programs
- Stephen King's Joyland (June 4, 2013): Cover Art Just Released
- Amazon's KDP Select Program: The Power Of Free

Photo credit: Daniel Schwen

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