“Brand names mean something, Nicky. Consumers rely on them to know what they’re getting. They know the company isn’t going to try to fool them with an inferior product. They buy a Ford, they know they’re gonna get a Ford. Not a fuckin’ Datsun. Blue Magic that’s a brand name; Like Pepsi, that’s a brand name. I stand behind it, I guarantee it. They know that even if they don’t know me any more than they know the chairman of General Mills.”
~ Denzel Washington, American Gangster
I had a conversation with an author, who just completed his second book. We spoke for about ten minutes about film, writing and branding. He threw out some interesting tidbits of information. The most vital of which, I based this diatribe.
“Know your audience, that’s very important.”
“Strive to be a best selling author, not the best author”
“Build your brand, that is the most important task for an author. The rest will fall into place”
I’m paraphrasing each quote because I was practically a zombie when we had our discussion. The building of your brand is interesting to me. This is the cornerstone to all business in my opinion and ironically, it’s the most difficult. I have picked up short yardage, but cannot seem to break the Arian Foster type run for the end zone.
Part of the problem is that I don’t have anything tangible to impart other than wisdom. I scrutinized by own branding, social currency, influences and decided what I want to be.
Since that time, I’ve done a number of different things, but I haven’t fully got the wheels moving. While on a dinner date with some friends, two women who subscribe to this project described this as a relationship blog. That was interesting to me since I don’t look at it like that. I have wrestled with the idea of doing another blog solely based on relationships and the foibles that follow. The problem with that is it would dilute both projects.
So, back to initial cornerstone and building the brand. Brand recognition in any endeavour is paramount, when you read, watch or speak to someone, their brand shines through. You don’t need a product to promote a brand, that’s a misunderstanding. You, are a brand. What you do means something and you stand behind it. What you do, builds your social currency. Social currency is best described as your personal bank with others. It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you and what they’re willing to do for you based on your brand. If you’re a horrible person who’s pessimistic, constantly breaking your word, speaks reckless on twitter, complains endlessly and blames others. This will be what you’re known for, that is your social currency. That is your brand. You’re building a reputation on your attitude.
When I write, I think about what I want to say. I re-read my work and meticulously nitpick how it will be received. We cannot control results. You put the work in and the results will follow. You should be cognizant of your brand. Build it to the point where you’re known. You’re known for something good and people respect you. When embarking on other endeavours, be aware how your brand meshes with another. I do some modelling for an online fashion site and my primary thought process is how I can benefit them, not what it does for me. See the forrest, not just the trees and you’ll always be ahead.
Carpe Diem Que