What is a brand? Generally speaking, when people think of a brand, they think of a logo and attached product, like the Nike swoosh and shoes, or Chanel's infamous reflecting C's and haute couture. Typically, this thought is dominated by higher-end names for a product that lacks an intimate connection. The question is easy to answer when asked, right?
What if I asked you what YOUR brand was? What would you say then? When posed this way, the question because harder, more refined. As if you're being exposed for the image you put out to the world. Suddenly, the question becomes personable.
Recently, I was asked this question when speaking with somebody about branding and marketing for my novel, The Human Zoo. This question has sat with me for days now, and I still don't have a concrete answer.
When I first started writing, it wasn't to make money or brand myself in a way that increases recognition. I wrote because, at that time in my life, it was what I needed. My goal was, and still is, to connect with people through safe words in a fictitious story. Authenticity, really, is what I'm attempting to provide. Can you brand that, though? Authenticity? Trying to market it alone seems grossly ironic.
Yet, I believe that human authenticity is capable of vitality through a virtual network. It involves a lot of work between parties, and I hope this blog is a reminder to hold each other accountable.
Now, in a better state, I can focus on marketing nuances, especially my brand. Attempting to attract a community through marketing is no easy feat. It requires creativity, a copious amount of time, planning, direction, and, you guessed it, a brand. More so, it requires me to open up, be engaged, and create content that transcends through the screen and into your being. So, how do I do this?
Let's look back at the initial question, what is my brand? What do I want to give to the world besides my writing? What does it signify?
One thought keeps ruminating in my head, The Human Experience. I choose 'The' instead of 'A' because it's a spectrum. Every inhabitant of this earth has a story to tell, even if it's just a story. With this in mind, it's driven me to want to focus on two things:
The delicate features of what it means to be a human
The intricacies of humanity
These are two heavy and jam-packed concepts. Together though, I think we can do it.
Step 1: Sharing stories, thoughts, ideas, etc., outside of my own. As I learn to open up about myself, I want to know about others as well—an ebb and flow on this endless journey of human connection.
In the comment box below, let me know the following:
What you want to read about!
People you're interested in hearing from/about.
Concepts/ideas that you previously may not have had the courage to ask.
You can even send me an email or message me directly as well.
Step 2: Spread the word. The most important part of learning is asking questions and speaking with others around you. As we continue on this journey, let's remember to talk about it.
Step 3: I'm a horrible planner and find steps and rules constricting from a creative standpoint. So I'm going to have only two steps and leave the rest open. I want this process to be organic. Together we can review and revise to grow, but for now, this seems like a solid foundation.
Today is the start of something, what it will end up as, only time will tell. I'm using 'we' to show my solidarity with this brand. I'm not particularly eager to market myself, and I wouldn't say I like speaking for people. If we can come together and create an idea that transcends division, we might be on to something.
P.S. I love GIFs and memes, I mean, in case you couldn't tell.