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Brand Yourself

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Created on: Aug 28, 2009 4:27 PM by CreateSpaceResources - Last Modified:  Oct 26, 2010 5:14 AM by CreateSpaceBlogger

Brand Yourself

Building Your Marketing Efforts on a Promise


What's your brand? You may not know it, but if you've created a book, CD, or DVD, you've already started developing a brand.


Strong branding can help develop your following and expand your audience. But what is a brand? In its simplest form, a brand is a noun: the name attached to a product or service. In reality, however, a brand encompasses many more intangible aspects of a product or service; it is a collection of feelings and perceptions about quality, image, lifestyle, and status. A brand creates in the minds of customers and prospects the perception that there is no product or service on the market quite like yours. In short, a brand offers the customer a guarantee of a specific value or benefit from a product and then delivers on it.


Define Your Core Value

To begin proactively establishing your brand, you'll need to ask yourself a few questions. What value do you want your target audience to receive as a result of listening to your CD, watching your DVD, or reading your book? What benefits can you give your customers in the course of reading, listening to, or viewing your work? Is your brand an experience, such as an emotional connection, or does it offer educational value? Essentially, what do you want to communicate through your offering?


Infuse Your Brand into Your Work

The first place to start building your brand is in your work itself. For example, an author's distinct writing style is part of a brand that will help readers know what they can expect to get out of reading a particular book, whether that style is grim and terrifying, or light-hearted and humorous. Audiences who expect a certain kind of listening, viewing, or reading experience will be drawn to music, film, or writing in the style and genre that delivers what they're looking for. Defining what category (or categories) your work falls into is critical to helping your customers find you.


Carry Your Brand Through Your Marketing Materials

You can further develop the signature look and feel of your brand through your product's design and marketing materials. For example, choosing similar but distinctive layouts and cover artwork for multiple products can help develop the brand of a series. Designing a website and press kit that are consistent with your product's themes will also help you brand your marketing efforts.


Be Consistent

Consistent messaging is the key to successful branding. It is essential that you establish your core values from the beginning of your body of work and return to them frequently. For example, the creator of a weight-loss workout video could establish his or her brand as being reliable, easy to follow, and consistently producing results. To reinforce that particular brand, the filmmaker could carry that "can do" attitude over into any related book or print publications, provide examples of success stories on the video's website, and regularly update a blog with health tips. Finally, if the values you want to portray as a musician, writer, or filmmaker are different from your personal or professional values, consider adopting a pseudonym and establishing an alternative brand for that identity.


Building your brand identity in these seemingly small ways will enhance your credibility and promote customer loyalty. Creating a rock-solid brand identity will cultivate one of the strongest competitive advantages there is: mind share, which is the process of fostering favorable attitudes toward a product or organization. As a result, customers will think of you first when they think of your product category. If you consistently deliver on your brand's promise, customers will return time and again, bringing new customers with them.


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