Brand is the "name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's product distinct from those of other sellers"...A brand – an intangible asset ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brand)
Do you need to have a a brand?
As an artist, maybe you think your distinctive style is your brand and in a way it is. What I want to discuss today is consistency in your marketing material and believe me when I tell you I'm not there yet either. It's been an evolving process for me as I identify how I want to present my artistic image to the world.
The answer is yes, you do need a brand as an artist, a consistent image that defines you to present to the world. This will help search engines find you and more importantly will give you presence and make you easily identifiable to an audience.
What is a Brand?
Defined at the start of the post by wikipedia, a brand is the "name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's product distinct from those of other sellers"...A brand – an intangible asset.
An artist's brand in not just a visual image, or a logo, or even your signature all those hopefully you have all of those things and they are distinctive but a brand is an immediate identifier, usually a phrase. Here's are a few and I bet I don't have to tell you which companies they belong to:
"It gives you wings"
"Just Do It'
"Have it your Way"
Obviously these are huge corporations with huge product lines so why do you need to have a phrase or a visual or both that identifies you? Because you are seeking consistent recognition for your art:
Recognition = Greater Audience
Greater Audience = More Sales
It's a simple as that and when someone forgets your name and they are trying to describe your art to another person you want the other person to "Get" that it's yours. For example if someone was talking about my art and they said to another person:
"Have you seen those dog portraits made out of paper that artist did...can't remember her name, did?" If the person was interested, they might go Google "Paper Dog Portraits" well I checked and I show up only once on the first page of that search. Fortunately for me, every time I post about my work, speak about my work or show my work I consistently reference my art as Hand Torn Paper Pet Portraits again, and again and again. Guess what, when you Google "Hand Torn Paper Pet Portraits" I own the first page of that search and if you switch to "images" I have the first 4 rows of images that Google shows and that search and much of the entire page.
"Hand Torn Paper Pet Portraits" for all intents and purposes is my brand. It's not fancy, it's quite matter of fact. Your brand should say something about your art that is defines it as distinctive, it doesn't necessarily have to be as staid as mine. I use what I do because there are very few artist that create with Hand Torn Paper and it defines my unique niche.
How Do I Create my Brand?
1. Define what is unique about you and your art
- The caveat to this is that art is ever evolving. So you will need to define something that isn't going to change when you go through your next "artistic phase." You don't want to say "The Blue Artist" because you paint everything in blue, unless you always plan to paint in blue. Being called The Blue Artist can seem a bit strange if you decided your are in your orange period. If you are unsure then start asking friends, family and fellow artist how they describe your work and listen for what is most oft repeated, what is the consistent message?
2. Create a phrase and then an visual image that supports that uniqueness or that consistent message.
3. Put it on all of your marketing material. Use these words when talking about your art, get sick to death of hearing them because you want something that will stick in people's minds when they think of you and or your art. It should be part of your email signature, your business cards, your postcards, every page of your blog or website.
I wish I could tell you be humble, don't talk or brag about your art, it will stand on it's own merit. Realistically though, it is just as true in our field as any other, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." You have to be noticed. You have to be seen (by a lot of people) and you have to stick in people's minds. There is an overwhelming amount of wonderful art and artist out there. You have to work to stand out in a the enormous crowd.
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