Alessandra Stanley in the New York Times writes about the proliferation of talk shows on television sign of celebrities who seek to â€œexpand their marketing horizonsâ€.Â She goes on to talk about how some celebrities, including Kanye North, refer to themselves or others (such as Kim Kardashian) as brands.
Thatâ€™s going a bit far, donâ€™t you think?
A brand is to help define your product or service in the marketplace. Of course, if you are the product (or service), such as a celebrity, than you are the brand. But thereâ€™s a limit – when you refer to a loved one as a brand rather than a person, youâ€™re confusing marketing with being. AndÂ that egomaniacal brand-centric (a hyper-sized me-centric) approach seems strangely out of sync with todayâ€™s way of looking at the world. These â€œover-brandingâ€ celebrities look foolish.
Those who create a brand, however, to become known in the market, and to give their audiences a clearer picture of what they represent and what they can expect from them, are different.
You donâ€™t see readers refer to authors as brands. As they shouldnâ€™t. But the â€œbrandedâ€ authors, from Mitch Albom to Stephen Covey, want to be known for their work, and for their work to be known. But they donâ€™t want (or at least I assume so) to be considered to be nothing more than a brand. Because if thatâ€™s all you are, then youâ€™re simply a representation of an idea, rather like an advertising icon, than the embodiment of what you offer.
Branding is with us. Itâ€™s not going away in the near future, and those who protest the rise in marketing of oneself as a writer are either naive or too high-minded. And if youâ€™re self-publishing, then youâ€™ve got to develop the brand you want your readers to know, so that when your book hits the market, the market is eager for it.
But always refer to yourself as the author of your book, rather than the brand behind it. Branding shouldnâ€™t go to your head.
Subscribe To Beneath The Cover's Blog
Join the many publishers and authors who already get their updates sent straight to their inbox. Enter your email address below: