Saturday, April 2, 2011

Branding

Here is yet another new idea that many are sick of hearing about. I first heard about Branding as a marketing term a couple years ago.

Here's how I understand it: It's how you want to be seen by the buying public, what you have to offer, and the style in which you're offering it.

It's not phoney, but more of a catered portrayal. One Podcast I listened to likened a writer's online Brand to how we would present ourselves at a cocktail party. We would be putting our best foot forward, and not whine about our bosses and hemorrhoids.

A few years ago, I was reading a book on Yoga philosophy. (stay with me here, there's a point to this)Coming from a Hindu perspective, it spoke of transmigration, or the soul's journey from one life to another. The point was something that all spiritual traditions agree on; that we are Spiritual Beings having a human experience. The person that we think we are is merely a vessel that we use to interact with this time-space reality. It's like we're playing a character for a lifetime. That's what Branding reminds me of, playing a character for our public interactions.

A less esoteric example would be a rock star. Off-stage, Alice Cooper likes to play golf, and just be normal, but when performing, he's sincerely expressing and aspect of himself. How about a less extreme example would be no less appropriate. I'm not sure what The Edge from U2 does with his time, but it probably isn't typical Rock Star behavior. And Marilyn Manson? Well, he's a bit of a question...

How do you understand Branding? If a writer wants to write in different genres, should they adopt another pen-name like Nora Roberts/JD Robb?

13 comments:

  1. I bet I don't do it well enough. I know people come to my blog and seem surprised that it's the blog of an author. Crap, need to work on that...

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  2. I have mixed feelings about the whole 'branding' thing. Sure, it can open doors and you get to put yourself out there. But it also reminds me a bit of pigeonholing....and once you're branded, can you move sideways? Or are you just stuck?

    Great topic!

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  3. Interesting. Branding, yep I think we all do it everyday but maybe not how you mean. Don't we all have many faces that we put on depending on each rising occation? Guess there is finally a name for it.

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  5. I have a hard time thinking about branding when it comes to writing, but I suppose if a writer only writes in one genre, it would be important and nice for them to be known as that kind of writer. I write both nonfiction and fiction, so it's harder.
    karen

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  6. I think you have a very good description of what branding is supposed to be.

    :-)

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  7. I like the idea that an author adopts different pen names and personas if they decide to switch genres. A published author becomes a brand once their work hits the shelves, since the audience has a picture in their mind of the kind of person who wrote that particular novel. Being able to switch personas without an author's fanbase crying 'What the hell?!' is a comfort :P

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  8. I think if you are writing in different genres you probably do need different names. If you write in a certain genre your readers expect that from you and you could really unsettle them if they get something they aren't expecting, so I suppose that's the branding.

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  9. new follower here. I think Branding is particularly important if you're an author who loves to write in two very polar genres--erotic novels, for instance, and children's books. :)
    nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  10. My favorite genres to write in are the genres with which I wish to be branded.

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  11. Hmm. Branding. Thank you for bringing that up. I have considered that. I have 2 tradtionally standard published books for kids. Under my real name. THen I self-published a baby boomer humor book for women where the words fly, the pants wet and the waistlines expand. I thought of changing my pen name but decided against it. I'm the same me for better or worse.

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  12. There has been a lot of talk of pen names lately but I have not decided upon using one or not. So far everything that I do is in my name.

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  13. Branding is not always easy to do. I realized a number of years ago that I had 3 distinct personalities (brands), my home life, my working life, and that when I was with my friends.

    These days with so much social networking online our lives are becoming entwined, and branding in many ways is becoming very important, especially if we are looking to promote our wares (writing etc) to others.

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