The Dark Magic of Branding

Brands are quasi-magical shape-shifting entities that control your mind. If you own a business, freelance or work in marketing, you need to have a good idea of what a brand is.

Brand Definition

There are so many technical ways to describe this, but you’re not getting one right now.

A brand is something evoked when you look at a logo or hear the name spoken. Just one look at a particular yellow sign on a red background immediately causes a mental encyclopedia to emerge of every quality and characteristic. It should also carry the essential truth of the company. The essential truth. That’s about as close as you’re going to get to understanding the universe.

Why Does So Much Work Go Into Developing a Brand?

Believe it or not, brands affect your purchases or investments far more than you think. You might think you only buy the lowest price or the best quality or the most convenient, but you don’t.

Even though you might go shopping for the cheapest food, chances are you have your eye out for the brands that you know which typically offer lower prices. So when they slip a more expensive bag of parakeet feed on the shelf, you will probably buy it unknowing of the lesser expensive one.

parakeet

Basically, good branding is a powerful voodoo that draws you in without having to advertise as much. Alternatively, you can see it as that reliable love of your life who you appreciate for their personality instead of needing to be constantly reminded of why you should stay.

Branding Yourself

Okay, put down that hot iron. The only tool you need for personal branding is the Internet. Forbes actually has a phenomenal piece on how to do this which you can find here.

Much like a business, people will be confused about what you have to offer if you haven’t spent time on your own personal brand. It’s not just one more thing to worry about–it’s one more thing to tinker with and have fun with.

Advertisements

Do you Want Your Work Skipped Over or Read?

Would you rather eat dirt or a sandwich?

This post concerns the marketing world, the field I spend the most time in. If you’re looking for a path or are just curious, then come on with me and learn about “readability”, something useful for mostly web material. Novelists, poets and academic writers might scoff at it.

What is Readability?

It is how easily the message of your text is understood. Things like long words and long sentences can deter the average Internet user. This is not because the average user is incapable of understanding your brilliance. It just jogs their brains a bit. Anything that slows down reading also tests patience.

If someone is snuggled up with a cup of tea ready to delve into a story, they want to savor the artistry of writing. If someone is navigating web pages, they want a quick dump of information. And that’s just the way we are.

seedy_bird

How Simple?

If your article/blog post can be easily read by a 7th or 8th grader, you have good readability. The Flesch Reading Ease Test measures several factors to determine this. Generally the more you can chop up a sentence, a paragraph or phrase, the better your score.

The Price of Ignoring It

Does Google look for readability when selecting search results? How big a factor is it? We just don’t know. Google likes to be mysterious. It is unrivaled, though many hardcore technology geeks use other search engines along with their Linux setup. And their Tor browsers. (We love you).

What to Choose

I am not a stickler on readability for this blog. For one, it’s actually about writing, and most people reading it are at least college-aged. This post in particular measures on an 8th grade level. My main concern is paragraphs. No one likes a text block.

Writing for other websites is a different story. Web writers need to dice up their material before submitting. Add subheadings. Throw out the passive voice. Stir in a few connector words. Make sure you don’t sprinkle in too much of the keyword. Viola, an omelette. Um, article.

Test your readability: 1

If you want to learn more: 2