Brand Smart

Last week, I received some fantastic news. The book I spent all of last summer editing was finally completed and printed. And on the inside, there it was: my name, right underneath the title.

“Compiled by Kayla Smull and Rachel Schnalzer

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But let’s rewind. After working as a Books Editorial Intern during Summer 2013, I was invited back to the Books division of Rodale, Inc. for the following summer, but with a very different focus than the introductory level work I had done the previous summer. Instead of helping all of the editors with a broad range of editorial tasks, my job this time would be editing and compiling an entire book independently. The book would eventually be titled First for Women Smart Solutions and include over 1,806 tips and tricks with topics ranging from housekeeping to cleaning to beauty to pets. An important aspect of the book is its connection to ultra-successful news stand magazine First for Women, a lifestyle magazine for the modern woman. Therein lies the secret to the book’s success. There’s plenty of books with tips geared towards women. There’s only one book affiliated with the powerful First for Women brand.

Throughout my time at Rodale, I learned the importance of branding when it comes to ensuring a book’s success. A regular diet book may do well, but a diet book that is Women’s Health branded will do exponentially better. Business minded publications such as Forbes often tout the necessity of branding when planning for success. In this blog post by Scott Goodson, he explains, “When Four Seasons Hotels, Inc., a Canadian-based international luxury, five-star hotel management company, sold itself to Bill Gates and and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia for $3.8 billion what did they buy? Locations? Restaurants? Staff? Beach front property? No they bought the brand . . . Branding is fundamental. Branding is basic. Branding is essential. Building brands builds incredible value for companies and corporations.” With this quote in mind, it makes perfect sense why a Women’s Health, Men’s Health, or Runner’s World branded book would perform much better than a book about simply health or running with no brand attached.

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Take a look at the screen shot of the promotion for First for Women Smart Solutions above. The bright colors and bold designs of the cover and promotional materials perfectly match the First for Women brand. This is just one of the important ways in which First for Women Smart Solutions stays on brand and in sync with the First for Women name. Brands simply carry more weight and so, if possible, it helps when a book is able to carry a brand as well. It is for this reason that I am grateful to have been assigned to edit a book such as First for Women Smart Solutions. I know that the content of the book is excellent, but how would the target audience know that? The answer: branding. With the First for Women brand to back up the quality, unique information in the book, the target audience is immediately drawn in, a recipe for success.

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