Every artist is a brand.
I’m listening to Seth Godin on Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Week Podcast, a podcast recommended by fellow local Sydney photographer Alexander Kesselaar – it’s a two-hour chat with one of the most popular marketing minds in the world.
Early in the chat Seth talks about “Knowing the Artist” and tells the story of the Dafen Oil Painting village in China’s Guangdong province that produces 60% of the total global volume of reproduction of artworks for mass market – according to this article from the UK’s Daily Telegraph the average sales price is 6o pounds.
“No-one becomes an artist to get rich” says a photo caption, to avoid starvation these painters opt for reproducing mass copies to a mostly non-discerning audience. Where else does this apply?
I’ve played in a cover band for many years – there’s more local gigs. The audience we play to, in the venues we play, want to hear Fleetwood Mac and Jo Cocker covers more than any original verse and composition. Mates Sam Shinazzi, Jimmy Stacks and brother-in-law Justin write and perform originals – less work (until they are famous) but much more creativity. For the band the customer want is to dance and sing along and not marvel in unknown and untested creative pursuits – the band’s differentiation the power to entertain and engage but limited opportunity for creative growth.
Like a fast food restaurant, product creation for mass consumption. Is it compromising your creativity for the cash or maybe the driver is bringing pleasure to others? Can you do both?
The FACE Approach
We’re naturally attracted to things of beauty.
YOU THE CONSUMER – Every day we are all bombarded with tens of thousands of messages requesting our attention but only a very small fraction of those get through our highly efficient message filters. Why did you click? What makes a good communications piece?
YOU THE CONTENT PROVIDER – You’ve been asked to present to the board, pitch to a new client, come up with a new ad campaign or write a script for a TV show – What do you need to say? What does success look like?
THE SUPERSTAR SYNDROME – Very few actors, musicians, sports people achieve global market penetration. Far less advertising with the natural power to engage, connect and spread.
Most target, interrupt and aim to convert.
Every piece has different challenges – eg a website video – 7 seconds before the user decides to click away or stay. A Banner Ad blocked! A TV commercial the signal to the viewer to get up and make a cup of tea. A social media post that is boring or spam.
Good design effortlessly (from the consumer perspective) delivers a clear focused message, captures attention and enhances the customer experience. The best design looks simple. The right medium, the right message at the right time.
Who is your customer? What do they look like? What are their needs? How will you reach and get through their message filter? What does your action pipeline look like?