This article is by Clint Watson, former art gallery owner/director/salesperson and founder of FineArtViews. You should follow Clint on Twitter here.
When I said "branding is for sissies
, I meant, of course, old school
You know, the kind of "branding" that focuses on big budgets where a lot of time is spent on stuff like logos, colors, letterhead, business cards, etc...Generally the stuff people used to hire ad agencies for.
For most artists, I don't think this kind of stuff matters at all. Show me a kick-ass painting and I really don't care if your logo is crap, or if your letterhead is a different color from your website. Heck, I don't care if you even have a logo. And I'll be happy if your "sales letter" to me is hand-written in pencil on the back of a Mexican food restaurant menu with salsa stains on it...if... the painting is kick-ass.
So I guess what I'm saying is focus mostly on Making. Kick. Ass. Art.
After you've made your kick ass art, share
it with us online and we'll spread your message far and wide. That means you have to have conversations
with us, your fans. Hence my statement, "branding is for sissies, real marketers have conversations."
Seth comes along and redefines the word "brand"
(only Seth can get away with redefining words like "brand"). His new-school
definition is "A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another."
In Seth's definition notice the word "relationships" - having a relationship means having conversations...which means, if we use Seth's defnition of brand, then branding isn't for sissies.
It means that half of new-school branding is creating EXPECTATIONS (making Kick.ass.art) and half of new-school branding is nurturing RELATIONSHIPS (sharing your art and having conversations.)
*Seth says "Design is essential, but design is not a brand" - Design (outside of the artwork itself) probably isn't even essential, but, then again, you should remember that I'm the guy who would buy a great painting from a salsa-stained handwritten note...good design is, however, probably a good idea.