Selling your product, or your brand?

Selling your product, or your brand?

Encouraging your audience to connect emotionally with your writing is a great idea. Most corporate marketing these days focuses on the brand rather than the product. Why? One reason may be that the difference between products is so small that we need to base our choices on something else – aspirational lifestyle and emotional connection are potential differentiators.

As I operate in a crowded market where lots of good people offer a similar end product, I thought, just for fun, I might think about my writing brand by setting the scene of how I work: – a writer’s brand?

Even in our digital world, nothing beats taking physical notes. I hand-write every thought and idea with a Blackwing 602 pencil – just like literary greats such as John Steinbeck and Truman Capote always did. It’s fast, clear and efficient. As the pencil barrel says, half the pressure, twice the speed.

Clean writing needs a crisp point, so the 602s go through a Faber-Castell table-top sharpener. You probably used one in school, clamped onto the side of your teacher’s desk. They shave pencils into a tall, elegant cone shape that stays sharper longer – so inspiration need never be interrupted.

Every graphite mark is collected in one of two books. One, a decades-old Silvine duplicate pad with the carbon paper removed. British-made since 1837, the tattered red cover bears the famous old laurel wreath logo. Each lightweight leaf alternates between ruled and plain, with page numbers printed twice – once on the top copy, once on its duplicate – a reminder of an analogue age. The other, a pocket-sized modern classic à la française: the Calepino No.1 notebook. Slimline, cardboard cover, 90 gsm papier ligné, 100% recycled. No bigger than a top-end smartphone, it’s writer’s perfection.

Looking out at trees and greenery with a door open to the breeze and a dog dozing by my side, Max Richter’s Sleep – an 8.5-hour epic of calm, dreamlike states – plays while I work.

This, dear clients, is the brand you are buying.

DISCUSS: What best represents your own business or personal brand?

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