Weather permitting, most Saturday mornings, I stroll a safe and pleasant three miles to the mall where I visit the library, the bookstore, and the grocer. I pick up fresh produce for dinner—the more salad-makings the better—then loop around and head home.
On the way back, I’m usually euphoric, flush with endorphins, time outdoors, and the knowledge that I’ve facilitated my family’s health and made a minor contribution to fuel-conservation.
But on one recent occasion, as I waited for a pedestrian light to change, a marketing concept inserted itself into my brain.
Brand as Constrictor or Liberator?
At the time, I was puzzling over the concept of branding, which, like most marketing principles, remains an elusive and scary prospect to me. I know it’s too early to be worrying about this for my fiction, but I’ve been blogging for a few years now. I still don’t know what promise I’m making to my readers in that venue. (My tagline is Art. Attitude. Vitamin C. Screams “unique value proposition”, doesn’t it?)
If branding is this unintuitive a process for blogging, what does that mean for my fiction? Will I inadvertently shoe-horn myself into an ill-fitting concept and have to start all over again? If a little forethought can save me from obvious errors, why not see if I can figure out an approach in advance?
So it was then, as I casually looked down and viewed myself as if through a stranger’s eyes, when I thought, The most accurate tagline for my appearance would be “hot mess”. [Read more…]