I remember a few years ago hearing this phrase for the first time and wondering exactly what it meant. I asked different people and got varied and confusing replies.
One author told me to think of the Telus ads on television. The ones that featured all kinds of small animals like frogs, bluebirds and rabbits with the same blurb under each, “The Future is Friendly”. That’s branding she said.
Another member in our RWA chapter explained to me that she had branded herself by designing her website, her bookmarks and even her business cards with multi-colored polka dots. She wanted her fans to see this image and think of her.
Others pointed out that many of the better known authors had come up with a special phrase that described their style of writing sort of like Debbie Macomber offering stories of relationships and enduring friendships or Susan Elizabeth Philip’s romantic comedy adventures. This was a form of branding also.
I guess it made sense, but I still didn’t see why everyone had decided to place such importance on these types of things because they could and would change eventually – right? I mean what if a person got tired of polka dots or a writer decided to change genres from enduring friendships to murder and mayhem?
Because I couldn’t grasp the importance of this concept, I admit to spending very little time in trying to brand myself. Until my promoter forced me to look at my covers and explained that they needed to be uniform in some way because that would brand the series. Okay! Now that made sense.
The more she explained about making book covers similar in either the font style or coloring or maybe a phrase such as the one on my Angels Series “Angels love Romance” the more familiar it would be to a reader who has already read some of my work. This made huge sense to me. I finally got it! Branding means becoming recognizable.
Once a person discovers you, and your books are easy for them to find because they either recognize the series by its branding of the covers (see the Vegas series) or because they now know your name, then you’ve made an impact. If the work is entertaining and enjoyable, that reader will remain loyal. I won’t say their allegiance is to your brand, because as an author, I believe it’s more of a personal journey. It’s about how you’ve influenced them by your work. They will be faithful to anyone who provides them with wonderful hours of enjoyment.
Now if you’re Telus or maybe Tide soap, then loyalty to the brand is a whole different concept.
The Vicarage Bench
is part of the
and will on sale - Aug 23rd