Northern Mummy

General thoughts and wittering about all sorts of things

Brand awareness

on June 22, 2012

This will be a short post –  I’ve been out at work all day and have an hour before I’m due to go out again to a meal with my book group (really hoping they don’t want to talk about our current read, which most of them have either finished or read a good part of – I read a page, felt confused, put it to one side and haven’t picked it up again yet… I have until 13th July, it’ll be no problem…)

It’s probably good I don’t have much time, as there’s less risk of me getting introspective and self-doubting again.  Many thanks to those who responded with their encouragements – I know things are better than they seemed yesterday and that, like I said, I have benefitted from the challenge.  I have a tendency to take things very literally and see criticism where there was none intended.

Today (Day 14 – nearly there!) we are being challenged to Brand.  I panicked when I saw the word, but it appears it’s easier than I thought.

A brand is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an impression you leave on a customer or reader; it’s a mental imprint. We all have them.

says Jeff.  It’s about making an impression, and making sure the first impression we give is the one we want people to have of us.  His next statement chimes with what I was saying recently about honesty:

Sometimes, the impression is accurate; sometimes, it’s not. But it’s never the full picture of the person, (that’s impossible). And that’s okay. It’s what branding is all about.

A brand is the simplest, most memorable part of yourself you can give.

We present the side of ourself that we most want people to see.

Recently, I switched my Facebook profile to the “Timeline” format.  Having read an article about what it was and how it worked, I decided to take the plunge before it was foisted on all of us (which I keep hearing is imminent, although it hasn’t happened yet), in order that I might take some time to work out what I wanted to be displayed and what I didn’t.  After opting for the change I was given a week in which to work on my profile before it went “live” – i.e. any visitors to my page would still see my old profile for that week.  The thing about Timeline, you see, is that it’s a lot easier to access a person’s Facebook activity from a longer time ago, using the date menu at the side, than it is from the old-style profile page which would involve endless clicking to “see more” at the bottom of the screen.  It means that stuff you thought was cool in 2007 could now be on display 5 years later for your friends to laugh at.  Thankfully, that wasn’t really much of an issue for me, as I’m essentially the same person that I was in 2007 – although if I’d been a sixth-former at the time I joined Facebook, I can see that there would be potential embarrassment if my new friends, or even an employer, could read all I’d been up to and see the photos.  Despite not having those concerns, there were still minor things that I decided to “tidy up” in order to present myself in a better light.

It’s natural and we all do it, to a certain extent.  We project our own brand, and I agree that if you’re doing something in the public eye you need to be consistent about that.  That’s why there’s always so much hoo-ha if someone well-known for being a certain way is revealed by their Facebook photos, or an unguarded comment on Twitter, or another way, to be (or have been) something different.  We don’t know where we stand any more – is that politician the committed family man he says he is, or does he secretly spend drink and drugs fuelled weekends partying with Page Three Girls?  Or equally – is that pop star really the unpredictable hedonist we thought he was, or does he prefer to spend his evenings at home with his wife and baby?

So, the challenge is to work on developing a consistent brand, with a name, an image and a voice.  Now, I think I’m fairly happy with my voice.  I enjoy my style, it feels personal to me and it flows easily.  I’m discovering that the short stories I’m happiest with are the ones I’ve written in the first person, and the narrating character does tend to have a similar voice in those.

Name and image are more tricky to make consistent, because of my blog being separate from the rest of me.  My Facebook and Twitter accounts are in my real name and use a picture of me.  Here, being anonymous, I have chosen not to do that.  As I’ve said before, I think this gives me the freedom to be more honest without worrying too much about what people think of me and what I’m saying, and as that gradually becomes less of a problem (which it is doing) I might rethink that.  In the meantime, my brand isn’t inconsistent as such, I just do things in different places – it’s still me!

It was good to be reminded of how important making an impression is, however, and that’s something Jane mentioned in her comment to yesterday’s post.  I’ll definitely be bearing that in mind in the future.

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2 responses to “Brand awareness

  1. Alice says:

    Ooooh, you could have a pen name!!!!!! I really like your ‘voice’ – so natural, inviting and accessible. X

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