What's on the iPod: The Way It Goes by Dispatch
We're replacing appliances and the countertop, so we decided to start with the one appliance that makes the most difference -- the refrigerator. It's amazing how many different features refrigerators come with (do I really need WiFi on my ice maker panel?), and how those prices go from reasonable right up to nearly the price of a small car. Of course, he loved the one that's the most expensive. I love the stainless steel everything in that fridge, but I don't love the idea of paying the price of four Samsung or LG mid-range refrigerators. Yes, that expensive.
So we came away without a clear decision, but with a candidate for a new stove. Go figure.
My daughter and I spent a rare Sunday out at the mall. I'm not a fan of malls -- call it mall burnout, if you will. I'd rather be at a local shop or an open-air outlet. Malls are better in winter when you don't want to freeze while you shop. Or never. Yes, maybe never. But we hadn't been out in ages together and now is the time to pick up summer things at huge discounts. We spent four hours out and about and came home with three items. Sometimes, you just don't find anything or don't care to.
I was looking at one of my favorite clothing brands and noticing an attempt to diversify the style but stay within the taste level that's become the brand. It's tough when you're a well-established name and you need to mix it up to stay current. So there were some wild colors and patterns, but all within the same cuts that this designer is known for. I liked some, loathed others. You can't win everyone over.
I guess we writers have similar concerns. True, we're not big-name entities who are so well known that we have to stick within a certain genre or concentration or style, but we have clients who are used to getting from us the same or better quality. If we stray too far from our own particular brand, we could lose some people. Some examples of straying from the brand might be:
- Losing the client's voice in favor of your own
- Using a different format than what your client is used to (like inserting Chicago style in an APA setting)
- Pitching ideas or projects that simply do not fit
- Losing professionalism by public gossiping, copyright infringement/plagiarism, whining, etc.
- Trash-talking about writing competitors, client competitors, or others within the client's business
- Having website/brochure/email writing that doesn't fit with your image
- Bad, sloppy, or incoherent writing
For me, it's not too tough to stick with my own voice and style when expanding into new areas. I just apply how I treat clients and their needs to everyone. But suppose I went from writing business books to writing for an underground music publication? Doesn't that mean I have to act, talk, and think with a lot more edge?
Yes and no.
I may need to present a product that has a stronger edge to it, but that doesn't mean the editors who hire me will accept my being all emo, bad-ass, or rude when communicating with them. Same goes with writing for consumer pubs -- I can't go in acting all Betty Crocker and wearing my virtual apron. That's not today's woman, and that's sure as hell not going to land any gigs.
Do you work in various industries and if so, how do you keep your brand consistent?