Wonks R Us

Where Public Policy and Small Business Meet

Some thoughts on branding…

I normally leave comments on branding to others, but today I felt the need to share my two cents on the topic.

I use notebooks to jot things down, take notes in settings where a laptop is considered rude (yes, Virginia, they do exist), or when some old technology is called for.  I have gotten some of my favorite notebooks from Bookjournals.com who recycle books by taking the covers of hardcover books, putting them on a spiral binder with blank paper as well as a selection pages from the original book.  I am particularly fond of the notebooks they have made from Golden Books, such as The Monster at the End of this Book, Scuffy the Tugboat and Mary Poppins.

David’s preference is to buy a bunch of cheap, blank notebooks at Ross and use those.  Several months ago I was downtown and had some time to kill, so I stopped at Ross to pick up a few notebooks for David.  In so doing, I found a fun, little monkey notebook that happened to be nicely sized for my needs:
monkey1

But, yesterday I used the last page of my monkey notebook 😦

So I raided our stash of notebooks and found one that was the size I like, but it had some other company’s name on it.  It is not a company I particularly know or have any affiliation with, they just handed me this notebook as a piece of swag at a trade show.  I contemplated just ripping out the cover, which would remove the logo, but I like having a firm writing surface.  Then I remembered! Dr Normal had given me a Strange Love Live sticker, but I had not yet decided where I wanted it to go.  So I rebranded my notebook with a sticker for a local show, hosted and produced by people I actually know.

sll

The moral of the story?  If you give me a branded doodad at a trade show, I will appreciate the item if it is actually useful (as opposed to the massive piles of random crap that no one needs).  But, don’t assume that I will help your marketing efforts by using said item in front of other people.  I might just use said item as a platform for marketing businesses, podcasts or anything or anyone else who I really want to support.

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One response to “Some thoughts on branding…

  1. Dr Normal November 27, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Wow! Thanks for the brand endorsement (and an insightful look into how you approach mass market branding in general).

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