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Archive for August 26th, 2011

Are you committed enough to your brand to TATTOO it onto your body?

I was at dinner with my sister and niece recently, and noticed a young woman at a nearby table with a tattoo of a snake winding around her shoulder. The lines were well defined, and the ink was obviously new. It was quite an elegant snake, mind you. But as I noticed it, I found myself wondering out loud, “How is she going to feel about that snake in 15 or 20 years?”

Tattooing has been practiced worldwide for centuries as a means of decorative body modification. According to Wikipedia, the earliest tattoos date to the Alps during the Neolithic era in the fourth-to-fifth millennium BC. Across the ages, people have gotten tattoos for many different reasons: rights of passage, marks of status, symbols of religious/spiritual devotion, decorations for bravery, as sexual lures and/or marks of fertility, declarations of love, punishments, talismans, and as the marks of outcasts, slaves, and convicts. One thing is for sure: a tattoo is a commitment.

Speaking of commitments, you are committed to marketing and selling your book, and you recognize that your book is a business. Now your business has a brand, most likely accompanied by a logo. So here’s the question. Are you as committed to your brand as The Girl With the Snake Tattoo?

If you’re still in the process of designing your logo and building your brand, you’ll want to consider a few things:

  • Check out the logos of other businesses in your industry.
  • Focus on your core message.
  • Make your logo clean and functional.
  • Take your business name into consideration.
  • Illustrate the key benefit you offer.
  • Trendy looks will eventually become dated.
  • Use color advantageously.
  • Pay a designer to create an original logo for you.

Sometimes, when you build a brand people REALLY love, you don’t have to be the one to get the tattoo. Your loyal fans will take care of that for you. Seriously a Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers tattoo! These are the kinds of fans you want!

Personally, I’ve been toying with the idea of a tattoo for probably as long as Snake Girl has been alive. I may do it one day, even. A small, tasteful Celtic knot on my back or shoulder. Interesting, isn’t it? I love my logo, but you won’t find me getting a tattoo of it anytime soon.

So what are your takeaways from this perhaps seemingly far-flung topic of tattoos?

  1. Branding requires the right image both literally and figuratively.
  2. This image must appeal to your target market.
  3. Your brand is permanent, so choose wisely. Companies do rebrand, but such an undertaking usually involves great time, energy, and expense and is only done for a really good reason.
  4. Raving fans the kind who will tattoo a company’s brand on their bodies are awesome. How can you get YOUR fans to spread the word about you?

You don’t have to tattoo your book cover on your body to successfully market it, but you do need to give some consideration to the overall branding of your book(s), website, blog, print collateral, and other marketing materials. Make sure they are consistent and speak directly to your readers and prospective audience.

Happy brand-building!

Laura

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