Branding in a Branded World

by SaskMusic

August 6, 2009 in Marketing & Promotion

Just the other day, while I was out contributing to the economy at a local mall, I giggled at the sight of a very young man with his sweat pants positioned just under his butt cheeks. (I can’t help it, it just looks funny, ok?) I commented to another young man waiting at the elevators how I thought that was out of style already. He laughed, and said, “...Things are changing so fast, even the kids can’t keep up; it’s a riot.” That was indeed a light bulb moment. Could it be true?

In the land of iPods, Intel, satellite radio, blogs, HD LCD TV, and cult branding (to name a few) your spellcheck can’t keep up with the new marketing lingo, technical words and product names constantly being tossed at us.

How do you market your art? How do you reach your target demographic (fan base)? How do you create your own ‘brand’ in a heavily-branded world? We are operating in a global economy; so how do we access and maintain a loyal fan base in such a segmented world market? One step at a time. And with a realm of possibilities.

The combination of having to pursue business along with their art is viewed by some artists as a bummer, but with ever-evolving and cost-effective technologies, you might even find a way to have fun at the same time. You can use technology to gain feedback, very important when designing your own brand.

I’ll use the example of starting your own blog, and initiating responses from guests. In essence, you’re building your own brand! In the world of the branding strategist, a brand is what results from consistency. It builds loyalty - there should be trust that the product and its delivery will remain constant. It’s what makes your fans buy your latest CD without the need to hear it first.

Surprisingly, some old rules still apply when accessing an incredibly different market. “Keep it real” is not just an idiom. Deliver to your listener exactly the experience you promise them. When possible, include testimonials. The new hunger is for truth. This is partly reflected in our television viewing: sitcoms are being replaced by reality TV. In pop music, less-contrived artists like Beyonce Knowles are slowly replacing acts like Britney Spears.

The market, and ways to access it, are changing almost daily (or so it seems, at times). Educate yourself. Observe how other artists market themselves, especially those who have remained constant. Read. I recommend a book called The Power of Cult Branding, by B.J. Bueno. He’s 23 years old. It’s never too late, or too soon...

By Gayle Martenuik. Originally published Spring 2006.

These archive versions of The Session Feature Articles are posted as initially published. Deadlines, contacts and links have not been updated. Please keep this in mind when using this resource. In some cases, updates can be found in a more recent editions of The Session.