You see, this was the newest "real" Scooby Doo movie. (So, not animated.) The commentary during the feature that talked about making this movie was where my idea came into play. The director talked about the lengths they went to to be sure the Scooby trademarks were in the movie. This is for fan recognition, expectations and, you guessed it, branding.
When you think of Scooby Doo, what pops into mind? Maybe the theme song? Fred's ascot? The classic removal of the mask from the villain? Or maybe all of the above.
If Scooby Doo is one thing, it's consistent. Every time you turn on a show, you know what to expect. You know you'll be entertained, that the villain will be unmasked, and that it will end with, "I'd have gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling kids and your dog."
Same thing goes for writing. Branding yourself as an author is the same kind of idea. You want to uphold your readers expectations. And I don't think it's as scary or limiting as some writers do.
It doesn't necessarily mean writing the same thing over and over, in my opinion. I believe it's more about staying true to your style. Every writer has a different style. Some always write in that lyrical prose that I liken to eating dark chocolate truffles, and some have a more jaunty lilt. One author may have a certain knack for ending chapters in a compelling way, while others have more fulfilling chapter endings. Same with the overall endings...some people prefer the loose endings left to the readers imagination while others prefer tightly wrapped answers.
I think if we look at branding like Scooby Doo, we'll all feel a little less anxious about it.
What do you think? Do you agree with me here? Are you adverse to the idea of creating your brand?