The Art of Branding

It’s fair to say that everyone now has to consider their brand, and I don’t just mean business or company branding, but personal branding too. With the advent of blogging, social media, websites, etc we, as individuals can now embark on our own personal branding.

For international companies who can afford branding companies to design and implement a bespoke brand, creating a brand isn’t all that difficult. But creating a brand for publically funded arts organisations is very much like creating your own personal brand, it’s researched, designed, and implemented by you; the director, development or marketing manager of the organisation, devised on a shoe string and operated at minimal cost.

As an audience development tool Branding can be one of the most effective and efficient ways of creating audience loyalty and committment to your organisation. However, if done badly, an ill conceived brand can damage you and your organisation beyond repair.

In a competitive world, where arts organisations are competing with leisure and home entertainment, branding is one element of the marketing mix which cannot be ignored. People understand, respond and relate to Brands in today’s society. Apple is perhaps the best example of an excellent brand. Apple generate trust through their quality products and services and excellent customer support, Apple’s Brand Affinity is now part of a cultural phenomenon, if you want an MP3 Player it’s got to be an iPod.

If art’s organisations can apply the same theories of generating brand loyalty and brand affinity to their operations, then they are far more likely to attract and, most importantly, retain audiences. But where to start? Branding is perceived as a costly, design led enterprise, in which those with years of marketing experience are the only suitable candidates to lead the operation. This is not so. Like all elements of audience development, creating a Brand is a process and the answers to your branding questions can be found within your four walls.

Branding doesn’t have to be a arduous and costly exercise. If you and your organisation believe strongly in what you are doing and want to raise your visibility in a competitive market place, then a Brand is essential to doing this. If you have a logo, a set of aims, a mission or vision, you already have the basis of an engineered brand. If you attract audiences and visitors to your events or venue, then they already have a perception and image of who you are and what you do, currently your unmanaged, renegade brand. Harness these elements and you can have a fully fledged Brand engineered by you and understood by your audience.

For information of the processes of Branding, and other elements of audience development visit www.hi-arts.co.uk/ads_tipsheets and download the TIP SHEET Branding for Arts Organisations, and many many more.

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent HI-Art’s positions, strategies or opinions.

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