Branding: Help Me! 

Convener(s): Lucy Ockenden 

Participants: Timothy Bird, Sarah Corbett, Rob Crouch, Chantal Guevara,Chris Grady, Kirstie McKenzie, Sasha Milavic Davies, Mark Smith,

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations: 

We discovered that the primary issue was the need for a brand to express a truth about a person, company or product (show, celebrity, artist). However, one main difficulty for many ‘arts people’ is that they wear many hats or do different things.

Some felt that when audience or market identified consist of very different people then often more than one brand, or website, or business card, or outfit (suit/casual/manual) is required.

Others thought that it was important to embrace the idea of an artist or creative company expressing their diversity under one brand. 

Sarah Corbett would like  to do a further session on ‘personal marketing’.

Notes for successful branding:

  • - Identify client / audience
  • - Brand design should reflect what you are
  • - Important then to be the thing you claim to be - IE TRUTH
  • - Don’t get too hung up on strategy and design, when in fact ‘word of mouth’ and referral are more likely to garner new business etc

Current culture (not just in the arts) is to distrust the polymath (ie we all want the kidney stone specialist to do the op rather than a generalist surgeon. Are people scared or threatened by polymaths?

However, all agreed that cross-fertilisation, integration and collaboration are of key importance to creativity. This makes life difficult given that we have also noted that polymaths are not necessarily trusted.

Conclusion – be brave, true to yourself, and if you are a polymath – admit it and hang in there. The world will realize it needs us!!! (hopefully…)

Secondary discussion

People came and went, but we also finished by discussing how some ‘successful brands’ (ie they make money) are not necessarily successful in their implementation and in behaving in an ethical way towards the people who enable their success. This reflects one of the principal drawbacks of the capitalist world.