What is your brand?
First, let’s define it. Brand, according to one definition, is a name, term, design, or other feature that distinguishes one seller’s product from another.
Basically, what you do differently from someone else who is selling basically the same thing. Coke and Pepsi. Both are brands of soda. Not just any soda, either, but a type of cola. Same thing with Sprite and 7-Up (both of which are owned by Coke and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, respectively). Lemon-lime sodas. Different proprietary formulas, but they are also very, very careful about the way their brand is perceived. Their image.
Coca-Cola likes to portray they bring peace to people. Remember the “I’d like to teach the world to sing” song? More than a jingle, that. It reached down deep into people.
Apple? Their name is synonymous with two things: unparalleled quality and high prices. They don’t make junk, so you get what you pay for. The power of their brand has become a status symbol for many people.
What is your brand?
What is it that you are putting out into the world, that differentiates you from others, even though you’re selling the same thing? Not only that, but who is it that you’re competing against? Coke competes against Pepsi, Apple against Samsung, Toyota against Lincoln… Competition helps innovation, so the consumers win.
If you don’t have someone you think you’re competing with, then you’ve already lost.
To bring this to comics, Alan Moore has a brand. He’s going to put out high quality comics, and if left alone, those comics will tell stories that will stand the test of time. Marvel Comics has a brand: comics about “real” heroes that take place in the “real” world. (Unlike DC, whose comics don’t inhabit the real world.)
What is your brand? I ask the question a lot because it needs to be asked, however, it should be you asking yourself the question.
Once you answer it, which is a challenge in itself, the next thing you have to do is to hold your line. You’ve found your brand, now you have to promote it. In promoting it, you have to hold the line of it, because there will come people and situations that will try to knock it down and displace it. They want to promote their own brand.
This is natural. Don’t take it personally. Just hold the line. It’s your brand. It’s up to you to take care of it.