I have attended workshops, read articles, taken online courses...and I still have no idea how to label my brand in a succinct sentence were someone to ask me.
Mainly because I don't think branding is all about font, and color, and pictures. I don't think brand is even all about a product or a genre. When I think of someone's brand who I feel has a successful public image, I think of the feeling I get when I interact with that brand's product.
For example. When I look up info about my favorite coffee company, Death Wish Coffee, I couldn't describe much more than their delicious addictive product that I wish was sold locally. (Seriously Death Wish folks, Indiana is smack in the middle of lots of shipping areas. Come give us your delicious coffee.)
But what I can describe about that branding is that I get a general feeling of badassery whenever I consume their product or their content. They have a minimalist edge that appeals to me and makes me feel like I can take on the world. They elicit emotion from me when I see their product. The logo, the ads...all that does is remind me how I feel when I was consuming their product.
This is one of those topics like writing a synopsis. No one really knows how to define an industry standard on a synopsis, but we all know a good one when we see one. So basically branding and synopses are both like porn.
In my never-ending effort to find someone that will help me stumble across what my brand is, I found this article in Entrepreneur Magazine. This article promises to help you define your brand in 5 steps. And since I have no clue what my brand is, and have a top 5 category on my blog, I figured I would complete the 5 steps with you today.
Displaying my cluelessness for all to see will either make someone feel better, or y'all can have a good laugh at my expense. Either way, I have had my coffee, and I have nothing to lose, so let's give this a shot.
HOW TO DEFINE YOUR BRAND IN FIVE STEPS
1. Determine your goals.
Well, shit. I just did this work. If you missed out you can get your goals and routines jumpstarted with my #Roxys7DayChallenge. My main goal for the next year is to put together a fun and "Foolish" project with my author friends. But I don't know if that's what this is referencing. Let me read on...
Okay. It's looking for specifics. So, cool. My goal is to start a new writing project from scratch and coordinate a group of others to do the same thing by 2020.
2. Pinpoint your unique value proposition
Ummm...huh? Why does this sound like prostitution? I need to read this. These aren't 5 easy steps if I have to read to figure out what the fuck you're talking about, article. From the article...
"That’s a fancy way of saying you need to figure out A) what benefit you offer people B) who those people are C) how you solve their problems and D) what makes you different from others like you."
At least they acknowledge it's overly pompous terminology. Hmm...what benefit do I offer people? I give my characters orgasms like the benevolent author I am, but I'm thinking they mean benefit to you guys. The ones reading this. Is there really any benefit to my "product"?
My benefit is purely entertainment value with a smile and hopefully since I write spicy romance, I make you squirm just a little too. I offer that to adults. Mostly women. What makes me different? Besides the purple hair? I guess it's just my voice, and my viewpoint. Me. I'm what makes my product different. Is that good enough article?
"If you’re having trouble answering these questions, I find it’s useful to first determine why you’re passionate about what you do."
Guess not. Okay...why am I passionate about romance and the book community in general? Because I discovered some writers who made me smile at a point in my life when I didn't have much to smile about. They inspired me to find strength through the worst shit, because of these women I read about could keep their sense of humor despite everything the authors put them through, then so could I. And these authors inspired me to try something I'd never thought I could do, because they started later in life too. I'm passionate about my books because I'm hoping to write a book that takes someone away from the everyday grind for a few hours. I'm hoping to make readers smile when they need it. Laughter saved my sanity. My sanity might be debatable, but the positive impact the humorous books had on my life is not.
Well...that got deep. Let's move on before I start waxing poetic. No one likes waxing.
3. Craft your professional story arc.
Da fuq, article. Do you know how long it takes a writer to decide on a story arc? Do you know how hard that is for a pantser like me in particular? These are not five easy steps.
My professional arc? I started writing because it was fun. I reached out to authors who I thought did the writing thing in the most badass way I'd ever seen. Somehow I befriended some of them. They told me to get off my ass, and then I submitted a book to a publisher. That publisher gave me my first contract. Now I'm out here flailing to figure out what the fuck a brand is.
4. Establish your character personality.
Umm...which character. I write lots of characters. That's kind of my thing. That's what we're marketing. HOW DOES THIS HELP, ARTICLE?!?!
Oh...they mean me. Me as the character in my story arc. They also say to describe yourself as others see you, not as you see yourself. Y'all can tell me that below, because I'm not a damn mind reader.
For the sake of stumbling toward the last step, we'll say that my character personality is...bumbling enthusiasm with a dash of intelligent bullshit.
5. Distill it down to a brand statement.
So taking what I've talked about above I'm supposed to make a painfully long 2-3 sentences that no one is ever going to remember and I'd have to write down and read every damn time I post because it's TOO LONG.
You lied, article. Or maybe I don't want a brand statement, maybe I need a tagline. Which is probably a different article somewhere else, but I'm not going through all the multi-syllabic words again to get there.
Maybe I can take a word from each of the first 4 steps and turn it into a tagline? Sure. Let's waste more time and try it.
4. Intelligent Bullshit (Okay that's two words, but it's one term.)
So that would be...
Intelligent bullshit written into flailing orgasms
Orgasms born of intelligent bullshit
Flailing writer bullshits with intelligent orgasms
Don't flail through your orgasms, write with intelligent bullshit
Guess I can now check branding off my list. Vote below as to which of the 4 should be my new tagline. Or give me a new one in the comments. I'm partial to "Orgasms born of intelligent bullshit" myself.