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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Talking About Branding…See Me At Scottsdale Society of Women Writers April 28

Recently when I was asked to speak to a group of aspiring writers about branding and marketing for a local conference, I wanted to find a unique metaphor to convey my message. Because I believe every person, being and situation can teach us something about ourselves, I usually find inspiration in everyday, ordinary encounters.  In fact, it was my observations of our Airedale Terrier rescue, Max, that led me to write my own book, Life to the MAX: Maxims for a Great Life by a Dog named Max. In the story, Max is also a metaphor for the attitude and experience that teaches us to live a full life.

So as I was reflecting on my presentation, I realized I again had an opportunity to use my experience as a marketing professional and my experience with my dogs to demonstrate how to market books and that’s when I was inspired to create Marketing to the MAX: What My Dogs Taught Me About Marketing My Book. While my audience was to be authors this time, the same marketing principles apply whether you’re marketing a business, product or service and the first step begins with branding.

In my presentation, I draw parallels between breeding a dog and branding a product. To be a champion pedigree, your show dog has to conform to certain physical traits—the height at the shoulder, the space between the eyes, the curl of the tail and so on. To be an effective brand, you also need to conform to certain traits—your graphic look, your key messages and the way you conduct your business are all part of your brand. The more a consumer has a consistent and quality experience with your brand, the more the consumer will value it. Of course, you are still lovable and can be successful even if you are a bit of a mutt, but it will take more work and more money because consumers can be easily confused in today’s environment of information overload.  Are you really an Airedale Terrier or could you be part Kerry Blue? Are you really the mystery author or could you be the guy who writes how-to books? Are you the company with the round hamburgers or the square ones?

I talk a lot about developing your position and core messages in my presentation and I also discuss how to use the plethora of tools that are available to us—everything from direct mail to Twitter. In the long run though, the tools don’t matter as much as your brand foundation, which is based on what really matters to your consumer.That’s when I think of my dogs.Their needs are simple:  they want to be fed, they want to be with you and they want to be loved.  It’s the same with your brand—feed it with consistency, engage your audience in a memorable way and they will love you.

If you are a new or seasoned author, I hope you will join me for my next presentation of Marketing to the MAX at the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers monthly meeting on April 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm at the Scottsdale Marriott Suites Old Town, 7325 East 3rd Avenue, Scottsdale. Admission is free with dinner on your own. Please RSVP now to Patricia Brooks at 480-250-5556 or

I promise to give you something to chew on and I won’t even bite!

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posted by Head Noodler @ 4:07 PM