Monthly Archives: November 2008

The Triple Threat: Personality, Branding and Blogging

Find a way to humanize your brand, use your personality, and take your brand
from good to great. -Guy Kawasaki

Do you envision your blog as a brand? If you do, try embracing the concept of brand personality. To understand what brand personality is, envision your brand as if it were a person. It would have values, beliefs and interests. These attributes are what would make it unique.

Groundbreaking package designer Walter Landor felt that everything you project into the world goes toward creating your brand. Each little piece is of equal importance, equal weight, and has to be appropriate to the audience it is reaching or the message that it is trying to promote.

The energy that you put out on your blog will be directly related to what you receive in return. Since your blog is a brand and you are the central driving force behind developing its personality, it is further defined by every action you take and every post that you create.

1. Determine what your goals are. These goals will pull you through the tough times, give you a focus and ultimately, a way to measure your success. I prefer defined goals that I can actually measure such as reaching a specific rank on Technorati every six months, gaining a certain level of traffic every year, posting a set number of articles to my blog each week, and so on. Without any gray area, it’s much easier to see if you’re hitting the mark.

2. Find out what your readers want and need. How does your brand fit into their life? The best way to determine your reader’s needs is to ask them. Develop a direct connection between your blog and its readers. Do some old fashioned research, whether it’s through polling, emails or a survey post. As an incentive, run a contest.

3. Clearly communicate your blog’s personality. This can be facilitated through being trustworthy, relaible, developing a unique slogan and having a memorable blogging voice.

Marketing has become a mass-produced commodity that lacks authenticity. Our saturation point has been reached and the old rules no longer work. Though used mostly for products and services, branding can also be applied to people. The key to developing an authentic brand is to be true to who you are and to follow your own, unique path. This individuality is the one thing that you can claim as yours. Though others may try to impersonate it along the way, it’s usually fairly easy to spot the original voice among them. Give some thought to the one thing that makes your brand unique, the one attribute that no one can take away from you. This is where you should focus your energy.

The characteristic that many of the most successful blogs share is that people are following the BLOGGER, not the BLOG. A blog’s theme can be replicated, but the personality behind it cannot. There may been hundreds, if not thousands of blogs in a saturated niche. So ask yourself, why do you repeatedly go back to the same blogs when you can probably get the same information from another site?

Gala Darling, a pink-haired force of positivity

Gala Darling’s consistent voice and unwavering positivity, Heather Armstrong’s sarcastic tone and over-the-top stories and Jane’s jaw-droppingly original styling are all examples of unique, immediately recognizable characteristics. Notice that I didn’t refer to their respective project names of iCiNG, dooce, or Sea of Shoes. What these bloggers do can stand on its own, period.

As Tom Dorresteijn notes, “The concept of brand personality combines inside-out and outside-in; identity and image. A personality has its roots in the identity but is strongly externally focused. It is not ‘be who your are’. Personality is: Become who you should be.”

If your blog was a living, breathing person, what adjectives would you use to describe it?

The world belongs to those who stand out, stand up and stand for or against a cause which they can strongly defend, those who can talk crowd and keep their virtues or walk with kings and not lose the common touch – their identity. An independent mind is a frontier of change in the world. -Tayo Korede

Make your brand come alive. Give it a personality that jumps off the page. Strive to make your readers’ experiences memorable. Once you establish a level of quality on your blog, never look back.

What is your blog about?
What characteristics make it unique?
How do you plan on taking it to the next level?

What I Wore: 11.16.08

Sunday = another trip to the graveyard. Only 20 blocks from my house, how convenient! I’ve been wearing my trusty Harley boots lately because I haven’t been able to get my paws on a pair of Chloé harness boots. Every time I spot a pair, someone else snaps them up!

What I wore:

Dress , Forever 21
Shirt, LA Made
Belt, borrowed from another dress
Watch, Nixon
Leggings, Forever 21
Zipper boots, Harley Davidson (with custom treads)
Purse, Miu Miu

What I Wore: 11.15.08

Saturday was spent doing a photo shoot for my brother’s new season of shirts for Blacktooth and then hanging out in the mountains. This time I used common sense and packed another pair of shoes.

This scarf has been residing on the deer in my living room and I felt slightly guilty for borrowing it from him…

What I wore:

Cardigan, Old Navy
Silk scarf, vintage
Linen tunic, Forever 21
Jeans, Levi’s
Boots, Dries Van Noten
Purse, Miu Miu

The Week in Pictures: 11.14.08

week in pictures nubby twiglet typography

week in pictures nubby twiglet roxanne jackson

Last Friday, Lee’s sculptor friend Roxanne Jackson was in Portland for a solo show. As you can see, her work is absolutely amazing. I’d kill to have these three heads mounted on my living room wall! You can see her work at Gallery Homeland.

week in pictures nubby twiglet inspiration

Saturday night was spent hanging out in the mountains at my Grandma & Grandpa’s cabin. They live on 10 acres of land in the forest on the way to Mt. Hood. Literally, you drive a half mile up a gravel road to reach their house. I was woefully unprepared for this journey and trampled through the dark & damp forest in my burgundy four inch Dries wedges. Perhaps the forest creatures were impressed? Thank god I didn’t break an ankle.

week in pictures nubby twiglet minnie mouse bow belt

I just rediscovered my Minnie Mouse-style belt (closet cleaning does wonders!) and can’t get enough of it. It reminds me very much of the bow crazy Marc by Marc accessories that I am seeing everywhere!

week in pictures nubby twiglet nixon chalet watch

I’m still really happy with my Nixon Chalet. Thanks so much for sharing your favorite watches earlier in the week! This picture was taken at my desk, where I’ve spent the last few days illustrating geese, fuzzy dice, a hip hop chick, a deer head and helicopters for the side of a trade show booth. I love the variety of work at my job. There’s never a dull moment!

week in pictures nubby twiglet inspiration

Somebody forgot to do the dishes! I’m a big fan of everything, even boring everyday items representing an overall aesthetic. Design is lurking everywhere if you’re willing to embrace it.

week in pictures nubby twiglet about

I’ve started digging through old scans and collages, figuring out what I want to do for new poster prints and shirts. I’m hoping to have some new things for sale by the end of this year!

How was your week? What made your heart go pitter-patter?