IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BRAND…OR IS IT?
Excuse my bloggy absence for ::checks calendar:: Oof. Let’s not worry about that.
Let’s talk about branding. Do you have a brand? Is it something you’ve thought about? Have you tried to develop one? Or do you feel it isn’t necessary?
The other day on Twitter a couple of other Voice Actors and myself were discussing this very thing. It was a pretty long discussion so I’ll save you the play-by-play, but one of the more interesting things that came out of it was manufactured branding vs organic branding.
Like many of my fellow VAs (especially on LinkedIn) are looking to find that perfect slogo and blurb that encapsulates who we are, what we have to offer, and to get people to check out our material. We hunt for the right adjectives and adverbs to describe our voice and style. This I would call Manufactured Branding.
When I think of Manufactured Branding I think instantly of Joshua Alexander. He’s got a very strong brand. He’s the “super human being with a superhuman voice.” He’s built his brand around providing super quality. It evokes in your mind that the client is in trouble and he’ll swoop in to save you. It’s a great brand.
Also check out Corey Dissin, Brad Storm, and Robb Moreira. Each have a strong visual that tells you exactly what they’re about. (I’m not necessarily saying each of these are manufactured, but they are certainly awesome for inspiration!)
I don’t personally think there is anything wrong with a manufactured brand. We have to start somewhere and it helps give us and potential clients an anchor on who we are. It gets us thinking about our skill set and what we want to focus on. Want to be the go-to for audiobooks? Then you need to do everything in your power to make your name synonymous with that genre. Which means focused branding.
Then there’s Organic Branding.
To me this is what happens by just being yourself on social media, getting jobs, and being yourself. Overtime your jobs and your social media presence will speak for itself and your brand will emerge. Honestly I think these can be far more powerful but super difficult to build or at the least take a long time. Here I think of the likes of Troy Baker. He’s the voice of a thousand protagonists, a mocap master, and a versatile character voice. Does he state this? No. Is it tied into logos and slogans? Nope. It’s just ingrained into who he is at this point. He and his brand are the same. I mean, I can’t even find a website for him but put in his name and that’s all you need.
Whether Manufactured or Organic, in the end having a brand is important. It’s that first impression and that foot in the door.
But be warned. That brand is only as good as the talent behind it. If you you can’t back it up, then it’s only as good as the RGB value displayed on the screen.