You’ve probably seen the experiment where testers are asked to select the best wine from two unlabeled bottles. One bottle contains a very expensive wine, and the other is, well, cheap.

Of course, the cheap wine wins. Yet, we don’t change our habits even though we’re presented with definitive proof. We still buy the more expensive, branded wines.

Why?

Well, it has to do with the psychology of branding.
Brands form an emotional attachment.
Brands often match our aspirations.
Brands communicate familiarity.
Brands engender trust.

That’s why you must work diligently to build your brand. Ah, but when you do, be sure to avoid these three branding mistakes:

1. Forgetting why you brand.
Big companies often brand for awareness. They spend millions of dollars just to get you to remember their name. Well, you can’t afford that.

You must brand to differentiate.
You must brand to gain referrals.
You must brand to get speaking engagements.
You must brand to win fans.
You must brand to earn positive reviews.

Yeah, never forget why you are branding as an author.

2. Telling more than one story.
Great brands tell one and only one story. They never try to be all things to all people.

Coke is about happiness.
Disney is about family fun.
Harley is about the rebel lifestyle.
BMW is about the drive.
Oprah is about living your best life.
Dr. Oz is about authentic health information.
Anthony Robbins is about peak performance.

As an author, you must find your brand story.

3. No brand personality.
Brands are like people. They have personalities.

Geico is comedic.
IBM is serious.
Apple is cool.
Tiffany is charming.

One more thing about brand personalities. As you may have figured out, consistency is essential to building a brand. That means that your brand personality must be present in all that you do.

It must be present on your website.
It must be present during interviews.
It must be present on your business cards.
It must be present on FaceBook.
It must be present in your YouTube videos.
It must be present in your instructional material.
It must be present in your Tweets.
It must be present on Instagram.

You see, you can’t run comedic ads like Progressive and have a website with a serious tone like IBM. It’s not consistent and, thus, is not believable. And, if they don’t believe you, they won’t buy you.