By Stacey J. Haseleu
Entrepreneurs everywhere are hopelessly obsessed with figuring out the essence of their brand/product. Millions of dollars are spent each year on advertising, marketing, and collaboration on products and images of companies to give them an “essence” or allow them to make a statement in their perspective market.
Take the Superbowl, the one time of the year when companies invest copious amounts of time and money for a 30-second spot promoting their product or service. These commercials aren’t created in a day’s work, they’re rigorously tested against multiple ideas until the perfect message is conceived that adequetely conveys that company’s essence; their brand, their image.
Writers are no different. Perhaps we aren’t selling a tangible product, maybe we’re not selling anything at all. But we do have an essence; our writing has a distinct voice and personality. Once we figure out our essence, we can get to the core of who we are as writers and understand our writing better.
Knowing what lies at our core as writers enables us to incorporate those qualities into our writing and gives us a voice.
So how can we figure out our “brand essence” as writers?
There are few simple exercises which will lead you to the core of your “essence” as a writer.
For the first exercise you will need to look at the brand essence wheel above.
- Using some of the adjectives on this wheel, as well as some of your own, write down 15 words that best describe who you are.
- Narrow your list down to just 3 words.
- Talk to friends and family and see if these 3 words describe you best.
These 3 words are your “essence.” They should adequetely convey who you are at your core. In other words, they should express your personality, your goals, your being.
In Pitch-Perfect Marketing: Building a Brand While Staying True to Yourself Mary Reynolds Thompson takes the art of building a “brand essence” to another level by building a vision essence board.
“Your essence vision board will be a collage of gathered images, words/phrases, colors, and any other elements that seem to speak to your essence. You can create your own artwork or use photographs or take images and words from magazines. The only criteria is that you respond to the elements through the lens of your essence words.”
In a way, writers are naturally inclined to gather little pieces of life that inspire and motivate us. We’re also inclined to write down our thoughts and feelings and to journal the heck out of everything. The essence vision board is another way to reach our inner-most feelings and desires and to tap into our creativity.
Additionally, if we ever decide to write professionally or try to publish our works, our vision essence board provides us with a roadmap to the colors/visuals we choose for our website and marketing materials, our business name and tag line, and even the design of our workplace.
What are your “essence” words?