Writing for the Brand

Written by Ann Edall-Robson

Author, photographer and lover of life. Capturing and sharing moments others may never get to experience.

December 12, 2020

My mind became a state of turmoil when I heard the term writer’s brand.  When you are raised in ranch country, the word ‘brand’ is common. It’s the mark put on livestock to identify who they belong to, and now I was being asked to come up with a ‘mark’ to put on me as a writer. 

I wondered if our family’s brand, Bar K Reverse K, could be used, or if I would have to invent another branding iron that would be mine and mine alone. You should see the file filled with scrap papers, covered with all the brand drawings I concocted to represent what I assumed this new brand should be.

Bar K Reverse K – Edall family brand for over 100 years.

During my time of no-brand limbo, it was decided a logo, a picture, or something, needed to appear on my work to identify it as mine. This would not be my decision alone, as my husband was also my business partner. Whatever we were going to use was not only expected to be my identifier, it also needed to be incorporated as our company’s logo.

I would be several years into what I call the ‘serious writing thing’ before I fully understood what having a writer’s brand meant. It fell into my lap one day while I was explaining why I write what I do and why I take the pictures that I do. Diversity and growth often lead to a need to make other changes. These might be a major overhaul of everything involved or baby steps to make sure the new landscape feels right under your feet. 

February’s Full Snow Moon

For years, the picture of the full moon rising over the ridge has been synonymous with everything we did from my writing, photography, and our company. However, it was evident that the talks of rebranding should become more than dinner table discussions. With the addition of books in various genres, taking on the role of book publisher, and incorporating other projects, this growth to our corporate interests resonated with the need to have an updated look: a look that was a recognizable presence representing the company as a whole. It was time for a transformation, but here again, it had to fit with what I had discovered was my writing brand.

Branding Day

Like rewriting a chapter in a book, change starts with an idea. It can be one thought or the vision of an end result. Either way, it took quite some time to find the right look for the new branding iron. Thinking it would happen in a short time frame proved to be a mistake on our part; however, listening to the people we contacted was found to be invaluable. They may not have provided all the answers or the direction we were looking for, but their artistic concepts added depth to the final result, providing food for what we thought we wanted. Simultaneously, it was a stark reminder that wants and need is two totally different things.

And now I return to the original dilemma of going on the hunt for a writer’s brand. Through my search to locate what I thought was needed as a writing branding iron, I discovered I had been writing under our home brand all along. It is the passion for what I believe in. It is from where I come that guides me to where I go. 

Still Rides for the Brand

Quietly, a cowboy would make a statement, “I ride for the brand.” These five words speak volumes to the dedication and respect we follow in creating our own brands. The values we place on the top rail keeps us true to what we believe in. True to our brand.

Oh! And the company…In the spring of 2020, we were presented with a rough concept that encompassed our vision. It did not compromise the want to include the trees silhouetted against the full moon or the important need of adding a feather. In the end, we got what we were looking for. It’s obvious there, too; we are still riding and writing for the same brand. 

The Quiet Spirits

How did you discover the brand you ride for, I mean write for?

I rely on my heritage to keep me grounded. Reminders of where I come from, mentoring me to where I need to go. Gifting me excerpts of a lifestyle I see slipping away. Snippets shyly materializing in my writing and photography. I am a lover of life and all things that make us smile. Sharing moments others may never get to experience at HorsesWest, DAKATAMA™ Country, and Ann Edall-Robson where you can also contact me. 

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  1. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    So… you didn’t know for sure that you knew what you were doing all along?
    Doesn’t seem like you were ever too far off track. I love that logo.
    I’m not anywhere near there; no brand, no logo, no track. One thing I did think to do when I impulsively started a blog was to step away from chickens. After impulsively publishing a poetry book all about chickens crossing roads people were giving me chickens of all sorts and chickens seemed to follow me. I didn’t want to be cooped up by that first book even if it is the best book on road crossings that few have ever read.
    This is a fine post Ann.

    • Ann Edall-Robson

      Thanks D.

      There are still days when I am pretty sure I don’t know what I am wandering the trails trying to figure out what I am about.

      We were happy to have the logo fit in with my writing brand. The lady that designed it ‘gets’ what I am doing with my writing, and more importantly she understands what our company is about. She gave us the feather not only as a focal point, but the trees, if you look close, are upside down feathers.

      If I were to give anyone suggestions when it comes to a designing a logo to match their writing brand: Make a list of ideas that are important to you. Then find someone who understands you, your passions, and any genres you may write in. If they are worth their salt, they will surprise you with something off the wall that you love.

      As for all your chickens…Open the gate and let them run free range. The important ones will stick close. And by the way, I for one loved your Chicken Shift book.

    • Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

      The people who gave you chickens are weird. What jumped out for me from that book was your brand of wit and humour, and ever evolving ideas, consistent with how you show up here. Definitely best book on road crossings and more!

  2. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    Aargh, branding is scary enough without those associations to the hot iron. But you handle it well and I love your logo.

    Mostly thanks to Charli, I do now accept I have a brand, and am using it to ramp up my newsletterr next year. I’d love to have a logo, but I’m a long way off that.

    Great post, Ann.

    • Ann Edall-Robson

      Thanks Anne.
      Your logo might not be as far away as you think. Consider the direction your mind goes when you think about your brand. Looking forward to your newsletter.

  3. Judy Dahl

    I love the new brand Ann.

    • Ann Edall-Robson

      Thank you, Judy.

  4. suespitulnik

    I love your Quiet Spirits brand. Since I have had the privilege of spending a few days with you I know you have a spirit that can quiet others and the softness of the feather means more than one thing to you. Your designer was only able to come up with the perfect idea because of how well you were able to explain what makes you tick. My hats off to you both. Whenever I see a feather outside, I think of you.
    I had never thought of a “specific picture for a brand, but I am now envisioning one for myself. Thanks for helping the ideas gel.
    Great post.

    • Ann Edall-Robson

      Branding is not as easy journey. To find something that represents you, albeit a picture, the genre you write in, a commercially designed logo, or a combination of all of these, it should allow prople to resonate with you. Like how you think of me when you see a feather.
      I am excited to see what you decide to use for your own reconizable brand.

      • suespitulnik

        I’m repeatedly told I write from the heart and I’m big into quilting and patriotic so I’m seeing some sort of quilted heart with lettering incorporated somehow.

  5. H.R.R. Gorman

    I have a hard time with branding, personally. I have very disparate interests, so it feels hard to pin down exactly what I want to feel like. It’s definitely something I want to become better at one day, hopefully soon, so I can be more consistent between platforms!

    • Ann Edall-Robson

      I don’t know that it ever happens overnight. I think my ahaa moment came when the realization of what and how I write fell under the topic of voice. I had struggled with that as well because I write under several genres. When I finally figured out my voice was present in all of them, the next part of the path became less muddied.

  6. Hugh W. Roberts

    I’ve read and talked so much about branding and how important it is. From colours to fonts, to images and photos, yet I think the way we write is also a brand. It always thrills me when somebody tells me that they knew it was a story I had written without knowing who the author was. “It’s your brand of writing that told me it was you,” are words that tell me that words, as well as images, give us brands.

    • Ann Edall-Robson

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Hugh. It was my brand of writing, my voice, that took me on the journey to finding the visual brand.

      • Hugh W. Roberts

        Yes, I meant to say that you still need a visual brand, Ann (for those who may not read much of your work).

  7. Sheila Wilson

    Dearest Ann:
    The Three Feathers brand suits you, and if I may make a suggestion, I would register as a WA Brand (Whole Animal). Love you lots, loved this work and think of you more than you know.

    • Ann Edall-Robson

      Thank you for stopping by, Sheila. You have now given me one more tidbit of fodder to think about…researching the WA Brand!

  8. Charli Mills

    Thanks for sharing your brand journey, Ann! It’s difficult to convince writers they have a brand, but anyone with public-facing writing has a brand. If you don’t see it, your readers do. Who best to ride your brand than you!

    Hey! I should add your logo to your column icon. What do you think? I promise not to delete it, lol!

    • Ann Edall-Robson

      Stock branding irons and writer’s brands are each unique identifiers unto themselves. I wonder if the challenge comes from the genres we choose for our writing. If we allow ourselves to squirrel down through the various sub-categories of any given genre is, it opens the gate to let us see our individual style. That part is you and you vision. Your brand.

      I would love to see our logo on the column icon; but only if you think it can be done without losing the whole herd! LOL…

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