Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Branding Buzz

One of my writing groups has decided to focus on branding. Each of us is to focus on trying to find a "brand" for ourselves. For this blog, I've used "Inside the Writer's Mind" and I think it's fairly unique. For my website I chose to use "Love, Suspense and Happy Endings." However, the group believes this is "too generic" to be a brand.

I know branding is supposed to be something unique to each of us, something that differentiates us from the rest of the pack. Every day in commercials there's a new catch phrase that is picked up and suddenly everyone is saying it. I still believe that if a writer "brands" with something "off the wall" and "catchy", it won't mean a hill of beans if you aren't a best-selling author with a broad fan base. Who else is going to know about you unless they stumble upon your website by chance (or by brand?).

So, I've been tossing around this whole branding thing and the only thing I can find about myself that is different from a lot of people, but not all, is my love for cats. I care for fourteen feral cats, have three indoor cats, and derive great enjoyment from their personalities and "quirks." With a few brushstrokes, I can turn an ordinary rock into a gorgeous cat. So, with that in mind how does one brand with this in mind? "Crazy Cat Lady?" I don't think so!

Some people brand around a book, but I don't want to do that. Books come and go, names stay the same.

I tossed around using "Purr-fect" Romances, or "Purrfectly" Page Turning Romances,
or my favorite: "Purr-pet-ual" Romantic. I think this fits my image since I always write an animal into each of my romances. What do you think?

I'd be interested to know what you think of branding in general. Do you have a brand?

Thanks for hanging with me!


Marty said...

It's difficult to brand becuase you don't want to box yourself in...I work with people who have 'branded' for a living, it's no easy job.

Saralee said...

I agree, Carol! It's tough to figure out. So I read and read all these marketing books to try and figure out what a brand was and how I could come up with one for myself.

Here's what I learned: Your brand should tell everyone what they can expect from you.

As writers, our job is to figure out what kind of story experience we are providing to our readers, and then let them know what it is.

Deep thrills and dark chills? A scary roller-coaster ride that leaves a reader exhilarated but shaken?

Or maybe the reader wants to end the book with a smile, a sigh, and a tear in her eye.

So you get what I mean. What do your readers come to your stories for? Think about how you choose the books you read--"Oh, no, I'm not in the mood for something that heavy."

Or maybe it's like, "Take me away from my life--make me glad that I'm not having to slay vampires, or getting abandoned on an alien planet, or being chased by killer clowns."

If you were a reader, what mood would Carol Ann's books put you in? That's your brand.