Nov. 23, 2022

How to Best Create a Consistent Brand - BM345

How to Best Create a Consistent Brand - BM345

Are you challenged with creating a consistent brand?

Listen as Mark Herschberg shares the essentials of brand consistency across all platforms.


Are you challenged with creating a consistent brand?

Listen as Mark Herschberg shares the essentials of brand consistency across all platforms.

In this episode, you will discover...

  • Why your book cover needs to be consistent with your larger brand. 
  • Why branding and creating a consistent brand across all media platforms is essential
  • Mark introduces his "Brain Bump app" and shares how it can help people remember content from your books, blogs, podcasts, classes, and talks
  • How to get content in front of the right people at the right time
  • What the future of content marketing has in store for us

And a whole lot more...

Here's how to connect with Mark - https://www.cognoscomedia.com/
Down your free "Brain Bump app" - https://brainbumpapp.com/

Schedule your complimentary 20-minute brainstorming session with Susan, go to BrainstormwithSusan.com 

Transcript

Susan Friedmann
Welcome to Book Marketing Mentors, the weekly podcast where you learn proven strategies, tools, ideas, and tips from the masters. Every week, I introduce you to a marketing master who will share their expertise to help you market and sell more books. 

 Today my special guest is Mark Herschberg. He's the author of The Rear Toolkit essential Skills for Success that no one taught you, as well as the creator of the Brain Bump App. And I know we're going to find out more about that. Educated at MIT, Mark has spent his career launching and fixing new ventures for startups, Fortune 500 companies, and academia. He's developed new digital media, online Marketplaces, and new authentication systems, as well as tracked criminals and terrorists on the dark web. Mark helped create MIT's Career Success Accelerator, and he's been teaching there for over 20 years. 

Mark, what an absolute pleasure it is to welcome you to the show and thank you for being this week's guest expert and mentor.
 
 Mark Herschberg
 Thanks for having me on it. It's my pleasure to be here.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 Mark, branding is one of the key topics for you. And I know you and I were discussing prior to this interview about branding that you did on your book cover. Let's start off there and then we'll inch our way into more in-depth discussions.
 
 Mark Herschberg
 When I looked at book cover design, there's a lot of articles on there about what colors to use and how to think about it, and that's great, and it's useful, and do take that advice. But what most people don't take into account when designing a cover is their overall brand. 

What your audience likely already knows is that your book is not your main revenue source. You're not making millions of dollars from your book. Your book is one component of your larger business, which might be consulting, coaching, or other types of products. And it's important to make a brand-consistent cover that's consistent with your larger brand. 

When we created my book, we looked at lots of different concepts, and the one we went to is the one you can see that. I'm sure if you look on Amazon, you'll find it. We have an iconography. We have ten little characters. They look a little bit like clip art. They are each demonstrating one of the ten skills in the book. So my book covers topics like networking, negotiating, leadership, communicating, and common business skills. Each little icon represents one of those. Now, it's not just that we put on COVID we have it starting each chapter. We have it on our website. We use them in social media. I use them with my talks. I use them on my other collateral. I use them in my app. 

 We didn't simply create a cover, we created a consistent brand across all our media that helps reinforce that brand recognition. And that's how people need to think about their cover design, not as a cover, but as a component of the brand.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 And that's so important. And what comes to mind, as you said, that Mark, is I just think of like the golden arches and logos that, you know, iconic logos, the IBM logo, the Nike swish, and that's all over what they do. So here what you've done, if I understand you correctly, is that you've created a brand and you're using it consistently with everything. So when I see those little icons, I'm like, oh yes, that's Mark Herschberg, is that correct?
 
 Mark Herschberg
 That's exactly right. And now it may be your golden arches or your swoosh, and that's it. And that's prominent on the COVID and it's prominent on your website and elsewhere. In my case, while we do have these ten initial different ones, but they are all consistent, you'll start to recognize, oh, that's one of Mark's icons. We had ten in the book. But for the blog on my website, we started to expand to other topics we didn't cover in the book. No problem. We just had similar icons once in the same style to COVID some of these other topics. In fact, when you go to my website, instead of just clicking the topic name, you'll actually click the icon to get there. So we created one that happens to be extensible. You may or may not do that, but you do want to be brand consistent across all of your channels.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 Yeah, that's so important. That consistency. I love that. Now I am itching to ask you more about this app that you created, this brain Bump. I'm like wanting to say brain dump, which of course comes to mind, but it's the Brain bump app. Talk to us about that. What's the thinking behind that? Is that something we should have? If so, why?
 
 Mark Herschberg
 Absolutely. In the future, all nonfiction books, or at least business and self-help books, really need an app component. We can get into philosophically why that is. But let's talk practically. One of the things I have learned from years of working in media technology education is that people will read a book and as soon as they finish that last page, they start to forget. A week or two later. You've probably forgotten most of what you've read in a book. I take notes in my books, but it doesn't help that much. I never go back and look at them. Well, this is terrible because I want my audience to remember the content. I want to help them do that. And the challenge comes from where you read content isn't always where you need content. 

For example, I have networking tips. Where do you read them? Sitting on your couch. Where do you need them six weeks later right as you walk into the event? I'm not helping you if you forgot them between now and that event. So I wanted to come up with a way to help people remember the content. What I realized is space repetition is one proven method for how people retain things. That's a fancy word for used flashcards or crack open the book again, before the test, we came up with the idea of taking key points out of a book, putting it into the app, and having them on little cards, so things like Flashcards but without a Q and A, so someone can pull up the content as needed. As you walk into that event, you say, oh, I need those networking tips now. You pull it up, you have the networking tips and you've got them right there. But then the other key point is that some content isn't something that you need right away. It might be you're a new manager and there's a lot of stuff you need to know, or you're having trouble in your marriage and you just need advice on a good marriage. But you can't say to your spouse, wait, time out, I have to pull out an app and see what to do. 

You need this top of mind. Again, space repetition, that repeated exposure to it helps you retain it. But no one is going to open up every day. I assume people are lazy. Laziness is one of our design principles. You don't even need to open the app every day. The app will surface to you one of the tips on a topic you ask for at the time you asked for. For example, at 09:00 A.m. Each day you get a tip on management and you keep that top of mind as you go to work. By seeing these over and over, you start to retain it. You might set another tip at 06:00 P.m. For how to have a successful marriage. So you get the content when and where you want it. It inverts the social media model and we can talk about that in a moment. 

Now, this is the value to the app user, the value to the content creator, the author, or the podcaster, because we support books, blogs, podcasts, classes and talks, is that first, your audience remembers and you do care about your audience. 

Second, word-of-mouth marketing only works if they remember your content. 

Third, we drive traffic to your website, to your back catalog of blog posts and episodes. 

And fourth, when you think about what you're trying to do, your book was an entree into your services. Someone will buy perhaps a 20 hours book off of a podcast, but they're not going to buy a $5,000 service off of a podcast. You need to move them through the know, like, and love stage of your brand. So the repeated brand exposure, because when they see the tip, they see who it came from, they see your book, they see your brand. It builds up that brand trust and equity and helps you engage with your audience so they are ready to do more with you.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 Oh, I'm jumping up and down here, Mark. I know you can't see me, but I mean, this is so exciting because I know that something that you're focused on is the future of media. Is this an entree to the future of media, this whole idea of apps and as you say, letting people read what they need when they need it?
 
 Mark Herschberg
 That's exactly right. If you think about how content has been used in the past, first, it is dissociated from when we need it, dissociated in time and in space. And we'd much rather have things when it's context relevant. If you think about those pop up virtual displays, google Glass was an example, and everyone hated Google Glass. But the idea is, of course, I'm walking down the street and I've got my virtual glasses and I see you. 

Oh, I can't remember your name. And what pops up? Oh, this is Susan, and it shows me, when did we last speak? It might give me the names of your kids, like, okay, good. This is just what I need as I walk up to you and I can remember what I need for our conversation. That is contextually relevant information in time and place. Books don't do that. Videos don't do that. Even though in theory, I've got my phone with me and I can pull up that ebook or I can pull up that podcast episode. It's not designed for that. It's a hassle. One of the reasons is because most of our media is linear, books are designed for front-to-back videos and podcasts you listen to start to finish. It's not easy to jump in. Yes, there are some indexes, but they're not great. Really? 

We need to think about the content that we create in the future to not be in this linear format but in a nonlinear format. Think more like Wikipedia, where you can jump around and come in from the side and you can drill in, and follow a thread across what might feel spatially disparate, but is logically connected. And so we can allow our content consumers to access our information. When and where is contextually relevant for them? Brain Bump is, I think, one of the first examples. A wiki is another. But there's going to be so much more to come in the future.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 Yes. And what's going through my mind? I mean, I've got a thousand questions going through my mind as well. You're saying all of this. What our listeners love to know is, okay, this is great. How do I even go about creating something like this?
 
 Mark Herschberg
 I would recommend don't create your own app. I did that for my book. The pilot version of Brain Bump was an app called the Career Toolkit app that was dedicated for my book. And that's where we use those icons and that brand consistency. But if you create your own app, you're going to have a couple of challenges. First, you have to create an app. That means getting some software developers. 

This is what I do because I build tech companies most people I know authors, and many sometimes struggle with their websites. Trying to build software is probably not where you're going to get the best ROI. The second challenge is you then need to get people to install that app on their phones. 

So now you're saying, buy my book and sign up for the email list. And you also have to download this other app. And it's a lot of different things. If you remember back to the early days of ebooks, each book had its own app, which was basically just a PDF file wrapped in an app. But no one wants to install 100 different books on their phone. You don't have to. You get a reader, you get Kindle, you get Nook. Okay, great. Now I can put any book I want in there. And that's what brain bump does. It's the same thing. Brain Bump is that container that lets us take content from any book, blog, podcast, class, or talk and put in there so it's less technical work. But then also you get that network effect. Because one thing we know, is when I advertise my book to my audience and say, by the way, if you want to remember this, go download the app, go find my book there. They don't just stop at my book. They go and find another book or another podcast and engage with more content. You also get a network effect from being on an app like Brain Bump.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 That's exciting. Oh, my goodness. Wow. You and I are going to talk more about that. Let's look at that in relation to content Marketing, because I know that content Marketing is big in terms of getting exposure not only in the media, but on social media and getting your name in front of people, getting your expertise in front of people. When we're joining this idea of the future of Marketing and branding, how does this work? How would we look at content Marketing as we're looking into the future? What's that crystal ball saying?
 
 Mark Herschberg
 You want to think about how you get your information, not your entire book, but the parts of it that thread on some topic, how to get those pieces in the hands and the minds of your audience at a time that is right for them. Do you want to really think about chopping up your book? Yes. You're going to put it all together and you're going to bind it nicely, and you'll have it packaged as a book, but also think about ways your book can be used in a nonlinear fashion. In mine, for example, I have ten chapters and ten skills. I say, well, you don't have to read this front to back. Jump right into chapter eight, learn all about networking, and then put it down and come back a few months later and read about leadership. And you can read it in a nonlinear order. Not all books work that way. But recognize that people will certainly at times, go back to your book in that way. But now also recognize when you take your content, whether it's in book format or other formats, think about the engagement and think about the tools. It turns out social media is terrible for many thought leaders. 

Social media is horrible. We do it because there's no better tool. Now, here's why it's bad. First, if you're a thought leader, well, you're not very visual. Instagram is great if you're a model or a chef, not so great. If you have ideas, you can share a quote, but still, it's not as pretty as a model or a really fancy cake. But here's the other problem. If you are a leadership expert today, you happen to tweet at 03:00 P.m. Today, you put out a great quote about leadership. Half your audience doesn't see it because they weren't on that social media channel today. 

Of the people who do see it, some of them say, yeah, that's great, but I don't think about leadership today. I've got to think about Marketing or fundraising or hiring or some other issue. So that's not relevant. I'm not really going to pay attention to it. I'm going to scroll past it. Then what happens? It fades away because no one is looking at your quotes at your posts from six months ago on social media. Social media is designed to be temporary. 

At the same time, if you haven't posted this week or three times this week, and then next week and the week after that, well, it looks like you're not active. You're on that social media treadmill, constantly putting out new content, even though your content from six months ago was great, that's still relevant today. It's evergreen content. Social media isn't designed for thought leader evergreen content. And that was one of the design principles of brain bump, as we said. How do we make it pull, not push? Instead of I'm pushing this content at this time and well, I hope it resonates with someone, we let the content consumer pull it to them when it is relevant for them. 09:00 A.m. As I walk into the office, I want that management advice. 

Think about your content and think about how you can let your users pull your content, necessarily the whole thing, but parts of it pull it, take it to them when it is relevant, and look for different media channels, look for different Marketing channels that will let them get it when it is contextually relevant.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 That just makes so much sense to me and because I'm not a social media person, because I don't have time for it. But you're absolutely right, it is temporal. It's like in the moment I'm seeing something, maybe I looked for it or maybe I didn't look for it. It's in my face because I log on to one of the sites. Then it starts taking you down a rabbit hole, which you didn't want to go down in the first place, but somehow you got sucked into it, then you end up buying something that you don't need. I mean, this is the worst possible situation. But now when you look at your book and I love the idea of cutting and dicing and slicing, and this is what I work with many of my clients doing is like take one piece of material and how can you use it in many different ways. If I'm understanding this again correctly, this whole idea of this Brain Bump is that the main pieces of information, the strategies, the tactics, the tips, those are put down in small little bite sized pieces that you offer up as and when the user needs them. Is that correct? Am I on the right track?
 
 Mark Herschberg
 Here you are. Let's talk about Brain Bump and let's talk about in general with Brain Bump, what you do is take highlights, think about going through your book, and what are the things you would highlight as a reader? Here's that key point, here's that quote, here's that thing you want to remember. You can put those on to the Brain Bump app. Now, once they're on the app and we have lots of tools to make that easy, and we have people who can help make it easy for you once your content is on the app. The great thing is you don't have to post every day. I've got all the tips in my book there and that's it, I'm done. I have to think about all I haven't posted in three weeks. I don't post at all. But every day there is some user on the app saying, I need some networking advice, and magically my networking tip appears to that person who's looking for that advice. So it's a little work up front. I had to get my tips in there, but then I don't have to do incremental work. It just happens automatically. We flip. Kind of the level of effort. But I would say more generally when we think about these ideas, you think about those key points from your book. 

And by the way, when you're thinking about, oh, is this going to hurt my sales? I'm sure there's someone out there who's saying a $20 book, there's some college student saying, yeah, $20 is expensive, and if I can get for free on the app, I'm going to do that. So I'll probably lose a few sales, but I think I'm going to benefit from all the word-of-mouth marketing, from all the top of mind, from all the people who have stronger brand equity more than makes up for it. But now generally, if you think about this content, think about your key ideas, you can of course, take these ideas, you have them in your book, can share them on social media. And by the way, the tool makes it easy to share on social media as well. You can turn them into blog posts, even if it's just 200, or 300 words. 

There's a blog post, or you can do longer ones. You can have them as ideas in a podcast, whether you're speaking on others or you have your own podcast. That's just once a week. Here's a three-minute, five-minute podcast where you just explore an idea. You can turn them into content on your website to create a more content-rich website. If you put different ones on different pages and now you have all these cross links, it's great for SEO. You can turn them into a lead magnet. Here are 99 great tips on whatever your topic is. You can download them here. But of course, I need your email address. And it might be all from your book, it might be some from your book, it might be from other sources. But you can take these ideas and you can use them in so many different ways.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 What's going through my mind too, is that one of my colleagues and a client has created an app for the interior design industry, because that's the industry that she's in. We're talking about the idea of opportunities potentially for sponsorship, maybe advertising on her app. I mean, she's created this app. Either people making it, bringing some income, how does that work with your situation? Is there an opportunity for some kind of revenue or sponsorship opportunity?
 
 Mark Herschberg
 How does that work, you're asking, with the app or with these ideas in general?
 
 Susan Friedmann
 With the app? Yes.
 
 Mark Herschberg
 Right now, we're not even charging people. This is all free. So you can get your content on there for free. Down the road. I'll have to monetize, and there are different ways to do it. One way could be, for example, sponsorships, that we're going to promote the book of the day. Frankly, it's because they paid us money and that's what caused us to say to everyone, check out this book. That's one way to go. But in general, we want the app to be let the best content surface. But you don't even have to win. You don't have to be the promoted one, because this is about taking your audience and building that brand equity, building that trust as they go. From what I heard about you, I read your book, and what some people are doing, by the way, is they have in the book the QR code or the link to their content on the app. And I say this in my book that I did with the app, that was just for my book because we didn't have Brain  Bump at the time in the introduction, I say, go download this app and have the app alongside the book as you read it. So as you read a chapter each morning for the next few days, you're getting reminders about it. And that helps them retain what they got in the chapter. People can use it that way. You don't have to be the number one piece of content, the most popular thing on this app. It's not like social media where the most followers win. It's taking dedicated followers and moving them along that brand trust path.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 I love that, the idea of you're not necessarily creating your own individual app, but you have a space on brain bump to be able to do that. Is that correct? Right.
 
 Mark Herschberg
 Because if you have to do your own app, you have to convince people to install it and you had to build it this way you get a spot there. You're not competing against each other. Where you are on social media, there's not that scroll of, oh, there's so many things, and then they're trying to shove more things that they recommend to me. We just say, you asked for this content, you asked for these tips from this person. That's what you get. You get what you ask for. We don't want to bother our users by sending them extra notifications and ads and other things. It's very focused. It relates to getting you in front of your audience. Now there is the opportunity that other people can discover you. I mentioned people download my book and then they'll look and get someone else's book or someone's blog and they find a different podcast. There's some of that too. But it is about building your engagement with your audience independent of what everyone else is doing.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 Now, using this, is there an opportunity then to build your own list and get people to opt in, let's say, for a lead magnet that they can view on this app or that they get downloaded when they sign up for your list. How does that work, that interaction?
 
 Mark Herschberg
 Right now, we don't do that. We're very respectful of our audience and not tracking information or taking it. If we find this is a requested feature by our groups, which could be the authors and content creators as well as the app users. If we find this is what people want, we can certainly add a feature like that where people who have added your content can then opt in to your email list or can get a free gift from you or something, where there's an exchange of information. Right now, we are continually getting input from our two communities, the content creator and the content consumer community, to direct our roadmap.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 Yeah, because building your own list, as you know, I mean, this is yours. It's proprietary. Unlike, as you say on social media, you can follow thousands of people might follow you, but they're not necessarily people who are going to buy from you. They're just following you. Whereas you can promote to the people on your list. Building your list is key. What are your suggestions there? I know that lead Marketing, lead generation is part of your background. What do you recommend there? Because I'm always telling people, get people to sign up on your list so then you can promote to them rather than relying on social media, which obviously you can't do that in the same way on social media.
 
 Mark Herschberg
 As you mentioned, I do have a background in lead generation and email Marketing. I've literally sent out hundreds of millions of emails in a year to an opt in list. They all want to be on it, but I've spent years doing that. I am skeptical of email Marketing now. Email Marketing works. Social media works. I'm not saying don't do it at all, but the same issue I brought up with social media applies to email Marketing. You're sending out that email Thursday morning at 11:00 A.m. Because that's your best guess as to when to send this. We know half the people, busy day, they have a lot of emails that morning. They didn't even open your email. And then of the ones who did, they might look and say, yeah, this isn't what I'm focused on today. Just like with social media, how many people say, oh, let me go back to that email she sent three months ago and read it? I'll occasionally start things thinking I will occasionally, but hardly ever do I go back. And you have that same temporal issue with a cluttered busy inbox just like a cluttered busy social media screen. It's still that push Marketing, and we want to shift to a pull Marketing. Now, if this is an idea just off the top of my head, if you can create a system to let people pull in certain emails when they want it, that might be more interesting. Of course you're thinking, well, all my emails are on my website, so they can go to my page and find it. They're all blog posts or whatever. Okay, that's a good step. And you're getting more SEO because now it's on your website. But it's still probably not as convenient as it could be.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 Always ways in which we can refine what we're doing. Mark, I know that our listeners want to know more about how they can get in touch with you, and I believe you have a free gift for them, so take it away.
 
 Mark Herschberg
 The easiest way is to go to Brainbumpapp.com. All one-word brainbumpapp.com. You can download the Brain Bump app completely free. You can try it out. At the bottom of the page is an apply button. If you're interested in learning more, you can click that. It will take you 60 seconds. Fill out some information, I can get in touch with you and we can talk more about Brain Bump. If you want to see some of the other stuff I do, there is the Career Toolkit Book website. On that website you can see, of course, the Career Toolkit Book. You can see other resources I have there. You can see how I designed my website. You can see the branding that we talked about, and there's a contact page where you can send me a larger message. If you're curious about some of the philosophy. And thinking about Brain bump and about the future of media. I have a third website, cognoscomedia.com. C-O-G-N-O-S-C omedia.com. And@cognoscomedia.com you can read some of our articles about how we think about media and you can learn more about cognosco and Brain Bump in general and get in touch with me. So, three websites, brainbumpapp.com, Thecareertoolkitbook.com and Cogniscomediate.com.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 Perfect. And I'll put all those links in the show notes, Mark, as well, because people may not be able to write them down while they're listening to this. As you know, we always like to end off with a golden nugget. I know that you've given us so many beautiful, incredible tips, wisdom, gems. However, just one little golden nugget. What would you like to leave our listeners with?
 
 Mark Herschberg
 Whenever we do sales, we always think, how can I make it easy for the person to say yes? I'm going to remove their objections, I'm going to make it very easy, I'm going to do as much work as I can so they can just say yes. It's easy to say yes, we are selling our ideas. So you want to think about what can I do to make it very easy for them to say yes to my idea, to get that idea efficiently, to get it quickly, to get it when it is most relevant and useful. And that's what we've talked about in the future of media, is how you find the right time and place and channel. But in general, think about, I am selling ideas, how do I make it easy for people to say yes to my ideas?
 
 Susan Friedmann
 Fabulous. Yes, because it is. I mean, a book is just chock full of ideas, it's a matter of which ones are relevant, when. And so this is beautiful and thinking about media and content Marketing in just like a whole different way, seeing into the future, because yeah, where there's going to be less competition, at least in the beginning, until everybody else jumps on the bandwagon. So, Mark, thank you, thank you. Thank you for sharing all this great wisdom and listeners. If your book isn't selling the way you wanted or expected it to, let you and I jump on a quick call together to brainstorm ways in which you can ramp up those sales. Because you've invested a whole lot of time, money and energy. And it's time that you got the return that you were hoping for. Go to brainstormwithSusan.com to schedule your free call. In the meantime, I hope this powerful interview sparked some ideas that you can use to sell more books. Until next week, here's. Wish you match book and Author Marketing success.

 

Here's how to connect with Mark - https://www.cognoscomedia.com/
Down your free "Brain Bump app" - https://brainbumpapp.com/

Schedule your complimentary 20-minute brainstorming session with Susan, go to BrainstormwithSusan.com