Brand Required

Monday, January 25, 2010

I've never been a cow seared by a branding iron, but I have lived through a branding project at my company, and it's painful.

When I left the business world for full-time writing, I thought my branding days were over. I was twice wrong. First, writing is also a business, so I haven't left that world. Second, even writers need brands.

This second truth hit home when I started developing brochures to advertise speaking services to complement my writing. How could I make an impression that would convince people who hire speakers to choose me over someone else?

My problem is simple: I have multiple personalities, and trying to find one tag line to cover them all seems impossible. I got around it (sort of) for the brochures because I made separate ones for each audience. For Christian women's groups, I came up with "Caffeine for the Soul: women's group talks that wake up and energize your walk with God." For writers' groups, it became "Caffeine for the Writer's Soul: workshops and classes to energize the writing life." But for school groups and civic and legal groups, I'm stuck with the boring and undistinguishing "author and speaker."

Now I'm beginning the process of updating my web site, and I need a brand to draw people in. (No, I'm not giving you the address yet. If I was happy with the current version, why would I hire a professional web designer?) Since the new and improved site will cover all of my writing and speaking activities, I need a universal slogan.

When I started this blog, I did try to come up with an all-inclusive tag line that would distinguish me from the crowd. But as you can see from the header, I gave up.

As I said, the problem arises from my multiple personalities. The lawyer in me writes and speaks about the First Amendment religion clauses and about legal issues of special interest to writers. The Christian wife and mother is more interested in encouraging other Christian women. The heart (yes, I do have one) wants her writing to demonstrate Christian love for sinners, while the head wants to make it clear that moral standards do not change with the times. The creative soul wants to craft a story you can't put down. And the driven writer wants to do it all.

At this point, my tag line is "help!" Any better ideas?

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