Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Brands and Branding

I lack the killer instinct and although I was engaged in commission sales for a brief period in my life, I could not stay with it for very long.
While in University, working on my undergraduate degree, I was employed at a men’s clothing store, selling suits. At the time, I was the only woman salesperson in the store, working only on Saturdays and one evening a week, and I made more money in that time than many of my male counterparts. Countless customers wanted a woman’s perspective on choosing a shirt and tie, and I would take great care in looking at the gentleman in question and supporting him on buying something that he would indeed be pleased with. I loved what I did and found it easy, until the store manager decided that he wanted to push a particular brand out of the door. It was difficult to discern whether the particular brand of slacks, suit or shirt would have been the one I would have suggested to the customer originally, and I decided it was time to leave the sales industry. I spent the rest of my working days doing many other jobs, but I never stepped into sales again.
“Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.” Kathleen Kelly from You’ve Got Mail.
Is branding business or personal? Or both?
Over the years, my blog has been linked to particular brands and I have been approached to support these brands and even though I know that I love certain brands personally, I am not interested in “selling” them to others, or swaying my readers in any way. I’ll tag my blogposts with a brand simply to provide a reference or give credit to a product, but that is all. The action or business of promoting and selling products or services, marketing, can be cutthroat at its worst. Or is that at its best? Just as I was unable to sell something for the sake of selling something, I cannot bring myself to write about something for the sake of promoting a brand. Or have I mistaken the purpose of branding?
There are many courses, books, and blogs devoted to teaching people how to develop their killer instinct in order to step into the so-called reality of this commercial world we live in, a myriad of tips out there to help bloggers earn money by delivering writings and gain many more followers, but I am grateful that I discovered early on in my working career, that marketing a brand is not the way my being operates, and appreciate that I developed the courage and tenacity to write from my heart, only espousing my own thoughts and ideas.
“Writing, for me, means humility. It’s a process that involves fear and doubt, especially if you’re writing honestly.” Kiran Desai
~ Ellyn

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