Monday, July 1, 2019

Go brand yourself!!

Sorry for the long absence!

This video has been in the works since February of this year. I am in awe of YouTubers who produce high quality content daily. It requires a lot of talent.

This episode is about my long-standing fascination with branding. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.

I'll come back with more of a behind-the-scenes episode with practical advice for those of you who would like to brand your own efforts.

The video was made possible by the kind folks at who provided custom decals for the vehicle graphics, and Sharon and Sam at Ink Living Color.

The incredible soundtrack is Grind by Andrew Huang, made available by the YouTube audio library.


Steve said...

Interesting video. You are spot on with everyone being able to make their own brand, I did.
I wonder what will happen when there are multiple brands with the same name. Will there be law suites as I suspect that none of these brands have any type of copyright or trademark/patents.

David Masse said...

@Chiller, the good news is that in Canada, the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand, copyright protection is automatic. You don’t need to do anything to protect texts you write, or images you create. Trademarks provide greater protection for business names, short phrases and logos but there is a fussy application process designed to ensure protection for uniqueness, and that comes with a significant cost. Incorporating a company bearing that name provides significant national protection. Only a trademark can protect internationally, but that requires registration in each country and that is a very large and time consuming expense. Patents protect devices: zippers, bottle caps, tools, and more recently, algorithms, source and object code.

The vast majority of bloggers and YouTubers don’t need to worry about intellectual property law suits. Those come when there is a business to protect against someone trying to piggyback on the hard work and hard won reputation of another. For most creators on the web, a domain name provides ample protection at nominal cost.

The bottom line is, don’t worry, be happy, and be as creative as you can.

Steve Williams said...

It's one thing to put a sticker on a topcase, but a tattoo? Now you're being a hardcore brand guy.

I had to look at my blog to consider if I have a brand. I have a lot of content. And perhaps a style. And there is an identity mark. But a brand, I'm not sure if I do. I guess I have my $5 mark someone on made for me.

Your video was good and it has given me a lot to think about. I'm still gnawing on making videos though not the kind you make. Something built around still images and perhaps narration. Not sure. For some reason I get shy moving from text to voice.

Anyways, the site is cool. I'll have to think about them a bit. But no tattoos for me.

I did have a T-shirt idea though. A black shirt with:

Why Do I Ride?
It Melts the Bullshit.

Good seeing you again if only on video!


David Masse said...

@SteveWilliams, I am going to post a behind-the-scenes video to reveal the processes behind this branding video.

It wouldn’t have been possible without, for instance.

Making videos is difficult because there are a lot things to learn in terms of techniques. The payoff is that creativity becomes almost boundless. If you can imagine something, the odds are you can make it happen. The tattoo notion came from my friend Andrew in a text message when I told him about the bike decals.

I could see you making videos where you tell the story of a single shot, describing your creative process. There are huge numbers of amateurs photographers who would be drawn to that kind of video.

I was reluctant to begin making videos, and I am still in the infancy of that craft, but it opens a field of creativity that I have come to enjoy. Being able to manipulate reality with video editing tools gives you god-like power.

Steve Williams said...

God-like power -- oh no, that's too much responsibility!

I do understand the ability to manipulate reality with images, text, narration, sound and music. The possibilities are endless. The technical part doesn't bother me. I have the experience and tools to handle that. What trips me up is the message and content. I'm not sure I have anything to say that warrants a video. Could be rationalizing something I don't want to do...

I have considered the approach of providing photography tips regarding riding photography. But that becomes more technical than creative. At least how I define creative.

Anyway, much to think about in this little blogging for free world. Or for me, operating at a loss since I'm paying for hosting, security, backup, optimization and a few other little incidentals. I like the visual presentation better than when I was on Blogger, and I like the idea that the whole shooting match belongs to me and is under my control and not Google. But it comes with a price. As Independence Day approaches I have been thinking about the price of freedom.



David Masse said...

@SteveWilliams, Steve your blog is all about the zen-like restorative powers of exploring nature, capturing moments with your camera and sharing your experience. All the ingredients are already there.

I imagine a video with the sounds of the forest, your footsteps as you move from the parked Vespa to the vantage point chosen for the photo, your thoughts as you compose the shot relating not so much to the technical components but more to the artistic components, the feelings and memories that the scene evokes... then SNAP! the sound of your SLR shutter, maybe a 3 second time-lapse of the dark room work, and the last frame is the resulting photo, some nice soundtrack that fits the scene and the vibe, then an invitation to subscribe. Bingo!

I have no doubt that would strike a chord with your existing readership and eventually with a whole new viewership on YouTube (or Vimeo... more fitting perhaps for its artistic community and perhaps a more fitting place for your work).

Eventually, with practice, you could shift your narration from post-shoot carefully scripted voice-overs, to more of a spontaneous selfie-narration (I think that is the secret sauce because it makes a real personal connection with the viewer) where you control how much of the selfie you reveal vs just using the selfie audio track as a voice-over (no studio setting rivals the audio you get outdoors).

In the fullness of time you realize that all you need to do is record clips. The editing software then lets you manipulate the content, cropping, enlarging, shrinking, picking the frames that mate best with your intended message, and discarding the rest. It's quite therapeutic and empowering.

You'd be surprised how quickly your confidence will build and displace the awkwardness we all feel when hearing or seeing our selves recorded. I imagine that you could market limited editions of the resulting shot with great success and enclose a micro-SD card with the video in a pocket on the back of the frame.

In my vivid imagination I imagine you giving a talk at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History with a legion of fans in the auditorium hanging on every word.

As I type this Harlem Nocturne is playing. I imagine that tune as the outro track, as I pan smoothly backwards from the stage, your last words fading gently as the music takes over, and the audience rises to a standing ovation. Then my Steve Williams Speaks video is finally the first L2W video that goes mercifully viral, and the rest is history...

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

I’m enjoying this discussion over breakfast along the river. Coffee’s done, time to ride but I’ll have more later.


Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

Now is later...hope you and visitors alike had a Fine and safe July 4!

David's video and discussion about the why's and wherefore's re; Branding brought out ideas and thoughts that I share with those that Steve has mentioned above, in both Comments. I sense his reluctance and uncertainty, cautions that I've had as well. Hoping to move to more complete Story Telling, which in a couple of words describes what my presence in the blogosphere attempts to be, these last months have seen me digging in and trying to learn more about how as well as if 'more' might be that which I think I'm looking for. I'll admit to being fascinated about the technology, the tools that are relatively available and a format we all have such incredible access to.

Towards that end, after having watched David's very entertaining and high quality Vlogs, I reached out to him and received a lot of valuable help, learning a lot. You offered technical suggestions as well as equipment/software ideas, all of which have been stewing in the pot, some if not most already followed through on.

I decided that vlogging wasn't really for me, instead possibly doing a better job integrating video/audio and images was a better fit. There's a price to all of this and it's not just monetary. Steve's last comment about the price of freedom really struck a chord, a building realization that I'm settling in upon of my own. There's a Post being slowly put together (imagined in my helmet at this point) that will try to make my case soon.

The most wonderful thing?? We have incredible, individual choices available.

Thanks David for the inspiration and the space!

Steve Williams said...

@DavidMasse. I agree, I have all the components at hand to produce "something." Your description of a potential video parallels something I may have produced 15 years ago while still professionally involved in video production. It reflects that kind of intellectual and visual planning necessary to create a seamless encounter for the viewer. It's a lot of work. And I must confess, I'm not particularly excited about a lot of work. At least not the sort of technical activity necessary to put together all the necessary pieces to pull something like that off. Call me lazy.

Probably more accurate though is the fact that there is so much marvelously perfect, technical video production out there now but I find myself saying, "Where's the beef?" For me, the beef is the content. The story. The essential aspect of the message that would resonate with me on an emotional level. I see this often with photography. Thousands and thousands of technically masterful images but most with a "so what, who cares" feeling. So personally I'm left with the thought that if I'm going to produce something in video, it had better have a strong message to match whatever technical stuff I bring to the table.

No small task.

Steve Williams Speaks.... I'm not sure which bridge is too far -- that or the Smithsonian!

I should share though that I have been thinking a lot about the video form. I have all the hardware, software and equipment I need. And I have kernels of ideas I feel appropriate for the form. Photography, how one might work on the road, is one. And there are others. How things fall together though is different than you imagine. I've just finished The Civil War (again) by Ken Burns and marvel at the power of narration and still images. A few years ago Dodge Ram Trucks did a Super Bowl commercial that was considered the best of that season's offerings.

It was called THE PAUL HARVEY COMMERCIAL!. A narration, no music and still images all working together to produce a powerful statement that Dodge managed to use to sell trucks.

I can see that approach for pieces on Scooter in the Sticks. The challenge is the writing. Writing is always the challenge for me.

Anyway, that's where I am. I appreciate your support, confidence and gentle prodding to move my lazy ass forward!

David Masse said...

@Coop: Those are very kind words Doug. We each have our own path and though blogs and vlogs are, as you said, just story-telling media, in the end they are like brushes, paint, and blank canvasses, and no two artists wield them the same way. .

David Masse said...

@SteveWilliams: I love your work. If ever there is a video dimension I am sure I will love that too.

Geoff James said...

Nice video David but I only have one question...... is that a mesh jacket you're wearing in the final close-up before the tattoo reveal? I'm in the market for one this coming summer. I have a couple in mind buy your jacket is pretty stylish!

David Masse said...

Hi Geoff. That jacket is a BMW Airflow jacket that I bought second-hand back in 2012. It is like wearing an air conditioner. All these years later, it would be tough to find the same jacket.

bocutter ed said...

"Sorry for the long absence!"

Steve Williams said...

So, three months of silence. Are you writing a novel or has the practice of law in an English speaking part of Canada seduced you?

David Masse said...

I know, this is so pathetic.

This is one of the things I wanted to be doing in retirement. I love to write, I love making videos.

It's not like I don't have footage, some great stuff actually (cool lighting system on the new bike, Alaska, Gentleman's Ride, Spain, Gibraltar), but you analysis is correct.

A client in a business crisis has had me working full time since July. Literally no time to focus on anything else.

I't quite pathetic.

Thanks so much for poking me. It is so richly deserved, and very deeply appreciated.

I trust all is well with you Steve.

All the very best,


bocutter ed said...

Steve, in 2 days it will be 4 months.

David, poke, poke ... ;)

David Masse said...

Yes, yes, yes my friends, I consider myself duly poked.

Sadly I am securely well-off in my retirement and with my now-too-demanding-but-lucrative-semi-full-time-part-time-job.

I miss my creative outlet acutely, I will be back. November is looking more normal.

Thanks for the well-deserved pokes.

David Masse said...

Richly deserved pokes.

November may see me back to a more reasonable routine and posting once more.

Thanks for not despairing :)

bocutter ed said...

Now at 5 ... shooting for 6.

Steve Williams said...

December 7. A long while since you last posted.

Just so your readers know you still exist, perhaps you could post a selfie holding a recent newspaper, and a few words of text saying, "I'm alive and happy in Canada. Now all of you buzz off!"

Just an idea.

David Masse said...

I truly love that there is concern for my absence.

Michael (Conchscooter) damn near got killed, and he posted continually through the whole experience. We were able to follow along every painful heart-stopping moment of that terrible experience.

What's my excuse?

Truth is, I don't really have one.

There is no doubt that shifting from plain old posts to video posts, and changing this from a simple blog to a blog-cum-vlog really upped the ante in terms of the work required to post.

Perhaps rather than posting these thoughts here... I'll continue with a post. Maybe that will prompt me to get back to sharing my life...


The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.