I was talking to Captain America last night about the concept of 'branding' as a marketing tool. The idea with branding is that you project a style and image that is consistent with what you do, and you stick with it. McDonald's golden arches, Chik-Fil-A's goofy cows, the logos of innumerable products on the grocery store shelves... in short, if you've done your branding right, you don't even have to remember the name of something, just the image, and you know what you're getting. Where it breaks down for me is trying to 'brand' myself as an author. How do you brand a person/concept vs. an actual thing?
An excellent suggestion I read recently was to have someone who knows you very well (i.e., Captain America) provide you with a list of five adjectives that describe you as a person, and go from there. I knew I was in trouble the second I saw the wicked gleam in his eye.
For Captain America (former Marine officer, Ph.D., highly respected businessman) is the only person I know with a more bizarre sense of humor than mine. One of his favorite habits (aside from singing nonsensical ditties to the pets, playing Sudoku and writing poetry) is to make up words. He's fond of saying that one of his goals is to make me laugh every day, which he usually manages. In short, he's an Uber-Goob. Anyway, when I returned from my morning walk, he'd left me his list of five adjectives, which, to his adorably twisted mind, describe me best:
Gorgean - gorgeous + Aegean, as in "The gorgeous woman dives off the cliff into the blue Aegean Sea, long yellow hair streaming."
Beauquatic - beautiful + aquatic, as in "The beautiful woman rises to the surface from the blue aquatic deep."
Popsicklic - an ongoing fascination with no-sugar-added tangerine popsicles, as in "You have an orange popsicklic tongue."
Buddhistic - a collector of little buddha figures, as in "Oddly, I've never known anyone who is buddhistic besides you, sweetness."
Eggwellian - someone whose writing success each day depends on the scrambled eggs her husband fixes her each morning. Otherwise, the world might end. No example sentence needed.
For the record, (1) Captain America accomplished his daily goal, and (2) I do not collect Buddhas (I only have 2 or 3) :)
Though these words are not the five words I'd use to describe myself, they were certainly personal and very, very sweet. If you had to pick five words to describe yourself, what would they be?