These days every writer is their own brand, we’re constantly told in advice columns on mid-ranking marketing blogs and rushed non-fic titles (many of which are only available in the Kindle or Nook store), but what does it mean to be a brand?
A brand is a name or title which represents a product, through an experience, communicated by a primary feeling. And that experience can change, sometimes drastically, depending on the needs of the market.
Coke is positivity, excitement and energy — but not too much energy, otherwise it would be Rockstar. Pepsi is all those things but in a blue can and with celebrity stunt casting. It’s also diabetes and tooth decay in excess, but that wasn’t included on the creative brief. Ralph Lauren was originally clothing intended for upper-middle class white people until “urban” black influencers assimilated the preppy style into their own cultural positioning. But these are the major brands, the celebrity brands.
When you’re a celebrity brand people just want to feel like they know you. When you’re not a celebrity brand you have to offer something. Anything. Don’t have anything? How about an intellectually unchallenging motivational message that may or may not have anything to do with the thing you’re selling?
If you’re a writer reading this, you’re likely not a celebrity or a major brand. You’re the fifteenth bottle of detergent from the left and you’re actively tweeting how “fresh” and “clean” your formula will make one’s clothes, but then again, so are all the rest. So, how do you stand out? Do you refine your message? Do you clearly define yourself and your approach so maybe your brand actually means something and carries some sort of significance?