Monday, April 26, 2010
Branding: Importance for Authors
I pulled out my cell phone ready to call my husband. Why didn't my key work? As I rounded the back door of the car and looked at the bumper, I quickly realized my mistake. Have you guessed the problem? If you guessed this was not my car, then you are correct. I couldn't believe it! I sheepishly looked around to see if anyone was looking and thankfully my error went unnoticed. I quickly scanned the parking lot and found my car in a parallel space, one aisle over.
The car was identical to mine except for a bumper sticker. I don't have bumper stickers on my car. That brand or logo is what saved me further embarrassment from calling my husband and having him drive the ten minutes or so away. Of course I told him the entire story upon arriving home and we all had a good laugh. Branding helps to identify a personal object or a person.
As a child whenever we traveled by plane, my mother tied a red ribbon to the handle of our suitcase. It was easy to spot as it circled the baggage carousel. Our suitcase stood out from the crowd. And, come to think of it, she tied a red ribbon to the rear view mirror of our car as well. You never know when this might be important! These little identifying marks allowed us to quickly find our suitcase and our car! Funny how I had forgotten this until today.
The ideal is to develop brand loyalty and an understanding that your brand contains quality, reliability and even dependability. So, how do you develop a brand or mark? With planning and focus. There are those who specialize in creating a "brand" such as a publicist or media specialist. These people focus on the strengths you possess, your literary gifts as well as your target market or focus. In this way your brand will appeal to the market demographics you are attempting to reach.
Of course you can do this yourself. Making your brand original, eye catching and one that conveys what you do is essential and a trademark of a good brand. You can test the market, ask your existing customers for input or if you are a brand new author, think about what you want your brand to mean.
Here are a few questions to ask:
1. Will my brand pass the test of time?
2. Will my brand be for a single product or a product line?
3. Can I sell my brand or is it "me"?
4. What is my target group and will my brand reflect their needs?
5. How will I implement this brand in my work? Will it become a book imprint or perhaps the brand of the entire company?
There are many more questions to ponder, but these will get you started on the right path. Remember that your goals and emphasis may change over the years and there is nothing wrong with changing your logo or brand purpose to encompass a larger segment of the population. Keeping true to the original purpose of my company, supply quality books and curriculum to the Christian market is still my goal, yet I've expanded my market to developing a line of Information books as well as those that would focus on Parenting. Whatever your goals there is no time like the present to begin.