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It's All in the Brand

When I started developing the marketing component of my publications business, the concept of a ‘brand’ kept coming up. Initially, I really did not understand the term but it kept “popping up” in all the marketing literature I read and the workshops I attended. As time progressed I grew to appreciate how encompassing it is. What began as a cursory sense of ‘brand’ as your public image, I have grown to see that it includes far more than just your appearance and what you sell. On the contrary there are so many layers I did not consider.

So for those of you who are starting out on this authoring journey here are my top 3 reflections on brand building.

You are your brand. Your public image is your brand. How you interact with customers and the information you share about yourself in the public domain. People support those who they admire and who they feel have similar goals and values. Protect your public image. Also, when posting on social media include posts about yourself - your interests, likes and dislikes. Your customers are interested in who you are - your brand - not just your business. Try not to focus solely on your product.

Pay attention to the details. A good friend pointed out that your brand also includes details such as a particular colour or font that are consistent through all media releases. Is there a particular accessory that you are known for? This could be your blue glasses or the fact that you always wear a green jacket. Do you have a signature style? There should be some consistency to the image you project, both in person and the design behind all media releases.

Choose your audience based on your brand. Once you have a good sense of what you represent you should also determine who your target audience is. Not everyone will be interested in what you represent or your product. Pull together a detailed profile of who you think would be interested in what you have to offer. Consider age range, professional or educational qualifications, income level, potential interests, etc. You may have to experiment with these parameters initially but it will be worth it as it will guide you in channelling your resources appropriately and in designing your marketing products.

Your brand has to be curated carefully. It really has to be thoughtfully developed so that you will be able to build your customer base.

What recommendations about building an effective brand would you add to the list?

Please leave in the comments below.

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