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Why I Am Not a Brand

As bloggers we are told by experts that we must define our brand. What is a brand? A brand is a trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer. The last time I checked most of us are living and breathing human beings.

andy-warhol-campbell-s-soup-i-1968

I am not a can of soup.

I am not a box of cereal.

I am not a  bag of chips.

I am not a kitchen appliance.

I am not a race car.

So therefore I can deduct that I am not a brand. A brand would mean that it would be an inanimate object waiting for consumers to devour or enjoy my services.

It is when I read  bloggers, authors,  and journalists. I am not looking at their brand. I am interested in the person behind the creative and what inspires them to be great.

What am I if I am not a brand?

I would like to point out that I am a living breathing human being with thoughts and emotions. Sometimes I write rubbish. Sometimes I hit the mark and I am funny. And sometimes just sometimes something good happens from having a blog.

All of this occurs not because I am a special brand of cyborg. But because I connect with other fellow bloggers who share their own thoughts and creative sparks.  Who as far as I know – are also not cereal boxes or cyborgs?

My only request to experts in the blogging field to attempt to use marketing terms that reflect the human spirit. We are real breathing people just as you are a real breathing experts spouting your expertise. So instead of offering courses or insight on finding your brand.

Perhaps, it would be finding yourself? Keeping it Authentic? The Path to Happiness? I am not sure you can really put a brand or a label, on that, can you? But I guess that is the thing in this world of consumerism we all have to be labelled to sell ourselves or you would be out of a job.

So if I was a brand it would be one that took risks, laughed too hard, cried too much, am damned one way or another, and usually busted for holding my finger up to anyone who reminds me of all of my usual inadequacies. But then I guess I am a terrible brand. I am only human after all.

Are you a cyborg? Confess.

I would like to thank Linda from the Task at Hand for inspiration for this post.

Categories: Blogging

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Darcie

Darcie Cameron is a RYT 200 who believes Yoga is a gift that is accessible to everyone with proper modifications, a patient smile and just taking the time to breathe. One of the greatest presents you will ever unwrap is when you connect your mind, body and spirit in perfect sync with your own breath. Connect with Darcie on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/darciecameronlovesyoga

46 replies

  1. I am not a brand either. Sunbonnet Smart called me eccentric the other day and I have seldom been so proud, lol. (All because I have a Jimmy Carter head- concrete planter.)

  2. You are so right, up close we are truly human, but from a distance maybe even the most original of us do look a little cliche. Perhaps that’s why we like for people to get to know us, so they can see as more than a disposable brand.

    1. The great thing about blogging is open so many doors for people to connect in this global community.However, I think sometimes people forget that their is a face behind the blog and comments. I also believe that it is a special privilege to have the freedom to share your creative voice and have people stop by to visit or comment is icing on the cake.

      Once we start branding ourselves as human capital or a commodity than it does make us more disposable. Each of us is more than that…

      1. so true, we are so much more than a commodity. I think the massive amount of anything breeds fear, we see chaos in the infinite possibilities, the infinite hopes for connection on the internet. This is where I think the natural urge to sort and categorize comes in…it’s the human urge to find what we are looking for, to increase our odds of finding that proverbial “needle in a haystack.” I think this is why without knowing it people make themselves into something that others they believe are “like them” can easily recognize. In a sense, all this possibility to be seen as unique, may in the end be overloading us and causing us to obscure our uniqueness in hopes of being found. I don’t know, just ‘typing out loud’. Happy Friday, btw…so happy for the weekend. On my way home from work I noticed there was a higher percentage than usual of “original” looking couplings milling about the town center, a lot of scarfs, black outfits, bold and asymmetrical expressions. and then I remembered, oh, yeah, there’s a jazz festival going on. From a distance I was able to categorize these folks, oh If see, oh, these are the sort of people who listen to jazz. funny though, because I adore jazz, I thought, oh, I guess i’m not dressed right to go to the festival, I better go home and make sure i’m wearing something that would look more “jazz like”. I’m only noting my own gut reactions, not to make a universal point, but only to say, I don’t think I’m all that different than most people. We want to unique and belong at the same time : ) To me this speaks to the urge to brand. Though I completely agree with you, and hate branding and have tried to resist it in all aspects of my life. I find I have a better chance at overcoming my obstacles if I consider the very true purpose they fulfill.

      2. I hope you had a wonderful weekend full of good music. I use to attend a Jazz festival in my local area before we moved every year. It is always fascinating in the diversity of people dancing and bonding over their love of music.

        It really is easy to categorize people based on what they wear, how they look, Speak, or write. But I find when I do that I am closing the door on something that lays just beneath the surface.

        We have to be open to change, recognize people change, and sometimes they surprise us when we least expect it.

      3. I just wrote a post about this need to pause before judgment. We must actively resist the urge to categorize, perhaps more now than ever before.

        I didn’t wind up going to hear the jazz….I was tired out, instead went to a movie with my husband. we smuggled wine into the theatre in a starbucks cup…this is how old people get their kicks 😉

      4. We really do need to resist that urge!

        Wine, popcorn, and a movie sound perfect to me. We just had a new movie theatre that opened in the neighborhood and it has a vip lounge with a bar. It somehow takes the magic away of smuggling it in 😉

    1. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I believe we all have a voice and many of us try to find it through our blogs. We all have a vision, an insight, or even a recipe that allows us to connect with so many people.

      I am getting contrary about being told it is necessary to have a brand. I am a life blogger – life is messy, funny, sad, and maddening. Why would I want to create a brand around that?

      Rules are made to be broken and as bloggers we should try to break those rules only to be better.

  3. I am so glad you are you and not a brand…. I hate the “brand” idea. I also hate when you say you have a blog that people ask what your blog is about. Why does it have to be “about” anything? why do you need an official platform… why can’t it be what it is, just like why can’t we just be who we are?

    1. Our blog is our voice and we are not a commodity to be disposed of when people tire of us. We grow, change, and shift in our lives. Why should it be expected that our blog has to be consistently the same?

      I am glad that you are also not a brand and it is always an honor to have you as a friend.

  4. For a long time I thought I was a can of soup, which is why I was always frightened of can-openers, but now I realise I am a number of things, dependant on who is looking at me. Variety is the spice of life, and I’m glad I came across yours.

      1. Bingo, brands are for products. I think people kind of misunderstand the idea of branding. It’s not about branding yourself as much as it is about branding what you are selling.

        Example: The blog I am replying from now ultimately has something to sell, thus it is more of a brand with a specific goal and it markets to a specific niche. Sure I use my own writing style for the most part, but I wouldn’t start writing thriller fiction posts too, know what I mean?

        I’m relatively new to blogging, but I’ve got a lot of writing goals. I’m interested in writing fiction, too. When I do that, I’ll make a separate blog for that style of writing rather than just make completely unrelated posts on the blog I’ve already made just because it has followers. That’s branding! Separate entities for separate goals and niches.

        As a personal blog not necessarily selling anything in particular, but writing about your own life, you’re free to write about anything without constraining your self to a brand.

      2. Donald, the thing is I am not really a niche because I write whatever I feel like from an a-z. It puts me more into the Life Blogger category (I guess) which many people would point out you are doomed to fail because you are not focusing on just one thing. They are probably right…

        I am just tired of top ten thing you should do lists, niches, and brands. Blah! Blah! Blah! After a while the same thing is being repeated over and over, again. It feels like Rasputin weaving his false tales of magic and power.

        I have had this blog for about three years and I have grown with it. I like the feeling of a small community I am not reaching for the blogging stars. I like having the ability to have time to connect with other bloggers and discuss ideas.

        And some day I might have a book to sell but it will be on this blog. Even if somebody decides it is not the right niche or category for it. My blog is my space, I drink coffee, and get to connect with lots of neat people like you. In this day and age that is what makes blogging great for me.

        Thank you, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I look forward to hearing more of your voice!

      3. I feel like blogs with a lot of humor and opinions are really kind of a niche of their own, regardless of what you’re talking about. People like to read funny and opinionated articles. They’re very entertaining and we like to read thinking we’ll have some input to throw in.

        I think as long as you keep writing funny and opinionated articles about whatever, you are in fact developing a niche.

      4. Thank you, Donald. I would like to think I was in that genre but some blogging powers that be might disagree. And in many ways you are right a niche is important and useful especially if you are working towards a higher purpose or career goal.

  5. Well, good grief. Here I come again, with the other side of the argument! There’s a part of “branding” that I think is important. Look at that Campbell’s soup can. Despite some changes over the years, when I go into a store, I can find the Campbells with no trouble at all. The packaging is an important part of my finding and picking up that brand.

    That’s why, over five years of blogging, I’ve never changed my avatar or my theme. I’ve refined my theme a little, simplified it, but when people stop by they never have to say, ok – now where is this? or that?

    Brands are for products, and whether we like it or not, our blogs are products. That’s why I tend to every single detail of mine as obsessively as I do, including my comment section. When I started blogging, one thing I said was, “This is going to be a place for grownups to have conversations”. That’s my brand of blogging – as opposed to, say, vile and argumentative blogs that seem to exist only to insult people.

    So maybe I’d put it this way. I’m not a brand, but I want to brand my blog in such a way that it becomes clear it is mine. Now that I think of it – that’s not unlike putting a brand on a steer. That’s what branding originally was – a way to declare ownership, and prevent theft. 😉

    1. I love how you keep me on my toes 🙂 We both know the rules of blogging and we both know as our blogs have aged that those rules are sometimes meant to be broken. I also agree blogging should be a platform for open and rational debate. It is the only way in which ideas spread and sometimes build a bridge to compromise over some of the bigger issues.

      I look at the Campbell Soup can and it is familiar go to for that grilled cheese. But also lacks the variety of spices that I love which makes a great tomato soup. It becomes a modified brand that reaches out to the masses for recognizing the comfort that comes from a can.

      I look at your blog and it is more than a can of soup. It is full of knowledge and ideas which make you think because of the variety of spices that you serve. I am not looking at the avatar or the look of the blog but reading your words.

      I also know that it is important to have a space that is easy to navigate and read for your audience. I would never disagree about that point because it makes it more accessible. I am also at the point where if someone stole my content that they would fell the snap of a very hard ruler against their fingers.

      As bloggers we have a role to share where our ideas come from and it should be expected to link that content. Just as it is expected in academia and journalism. We are creating and sharing if an idea comes from somewhere else it is important to share where it that inspiration had struck us whether from a good book, article, or blog post. It’s when they fail to recognize a comment or a post that makes my blood boil.

      I am little long-winded tonight but for me my blogging page is a hang-out space where I get to share and connect with a lot of great people. It has been a wonderful platform!

      On the other hand, I am in the process of finishing a novella and it is not something that you would recognize with me or my blog. I suspect it will actually upset some people because they didn’t expect it. So maybe that is why I refuse to recognize myself as a brand but more of a space which I love to have, drink my coffee, write what I feel, and not worry about what people think while enjoying the conversation that comes from it.

      Thank you for another one of your wonderful insights – it is always a pleasure to talk with you.

  6. Well, I think some of my voice over auditions were called cyborg like. Interesting take on the branding issue. No matter how much I read about it, I don’t really “get” it or how I can apply it to my podcast or blog or solo show.

    1. I think the only way to go about it is to connect with other bloggers and find the social media tools that you like to use in your daily life. Is it branding? No. I would consider it as promoting your work as an artist.

  7. i love reading all the comments here…perhaps the idea of branding comes about from the way we generally are educated. what do you think? i mean, branding separates into neat little packages and it is far easier to handle overall. why do we have separate grades going to school…what happened with whole education? one room classrooms…and even going to church we sometimes are encouraged to worship by age groups. your Life Blogger term (if branding is demanded) is good for those blogging just because it something we like doing. period.
    thanks for the mental gymnastics…gotta go now and have a wee drink. 🙂 cheers!

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