Don’t Muddy Your Brand

Thought for the dayMy teen-aged son loves to attend truck pulls at exhibitions. He only has his beginners, but he’s itching to get behind the wheel and has created elaborate schemes that would see him get there before he has his full driver’s licence. He has yet to successfully carry out a scheme, but his mind is always working on it.

The videos he captures at these truck pulls are mashed together and posted to his YouTube channel. After a big pull at the end of August, I told him I’d share his link on my Twitter feed, thinking I’d be helping him spread the word so he’d have more subscribers and more views.

“You can’t do that,” he said. “You’d muddy my brand.”

For a guy who has no problem getting muddy on his four-wheeler, he had a real problem with mud on ‘his brand’. He knows little about marketing – or does he?

Strangers To Superfans: A Marketing Guide to the Reader Journey (Let's Get Publishing Book 2) by [Gaughran, David]The instant he made the comment, I remembered a post about Amazon’s algorithms by David Gaughran I had read several months ago. Gaughran can explain it better than I can, but here’s the gist of it.

  • You publish your first book, say a fantasy novel, and share it with family, friends and everyone you can.
  • Many of them buy your book because, well, they like you, you’re related or they feel like being nice and want to support you.
  • However, many of these readers don’t regularly or never buy fantasy novels.
  • The buyers of your book triggers Amazon to recommend your book to others who have bought similar books to their buying habit. In other words, if Joan only reads romance novels and she buys your fantasy book, Amazon might post, “People who bought Romance Novel, also bought your fantasy novel.”
  • Your book is recommended to readers of other genres, and when those readers visit your book page and see it is fantasy, they hesitate. A few might buy, but more often than not, they will leave the page without buying.
  • This tells Amazon that your book, although recommended, is not capturing the attention of buyers.
  • Dozens, hundreds or thousands of readers visiting but not buying your book decreases its recommendation.
  • This muddies your brand.

Ideally you want only dedicated readers of your genre to buy your book, which increases the change of those recommendations ending in sales – but not everyone only reads one genre. So the hope is the majority of your readers will be dedicated to the genre of your book.

How does this affect YouTube videos?

My son is a stats guy, and YouTube provides stats in various forms. My son can see how much viewers have watched of his video, and he’s not happy if they only stayed for part of it. The more people who don’t watch his videos completely, the less he is recommended.

And he wants to be recommended. He only wants truck people who love to watch truck pulls to watch his videos.

Of course, I can’t share his YouTube channel because…you might watch it, and you might not be dedicated to watching truck pulls.

4 thoughts on “Don’t Muddy Your Brand

    • I find my son thinks about things a lot, listens and watches a lot of different things. He thinks he can tear apart and engine and rebuild it from all the videos he’s watched and all the articles he’s read — perhaps he can, but he won’t find out until he gets an engine of his own to rebuild. Needless to say, when he’s working on our vehicles, he is under heavy supervision. But he’s keen, and I like that. He’s given me surprisingly good insight to things in the past. Thanks for visiting.


      • Good for him. Our younger son has ended up being a pyrotechnics expert and builder’s mate by a circuitous route and it is via U tube we see what he’s been up to – from Horse Guards Parade to Saudi Arabia!


        • I know many knock YouTube, but I find it a vast vessel of information. Sure, there’s lots of stuff not worth watching, but there’s an entire library of stuff worth watching, and it gets better every year.


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