Working with artists over the years, and being one myself, I am constantly finding ways to support Oklahoma City's flourishing arts scene. Artio Services started as a brainchild in 2019, and I knew it would encompass relationship building through the arts. However, I didn't have a clear idea on what that would look like. I fumbled through my own brand identity, and through this journey, the concept of branding came into view as part of my business model. I felt like it was the best way to help artists move their work ahead, and it's become my passion.
So many artists are amazing at what they do, but it's establishing a root identity and sharing it with the world that can be challenging. Branding and marketing are their own animals, and not every artist needs to be an expert at these things.
Yet establishing a strong brand identity helps artists stand out in a crowded scene, creates an impression, and builds recognition. Since there are so many arts modalities, I will focus on the visual arts and music for this post. There are some things these artists can do to build and maintain a brand identity:
1. Consistent Visual Style: For visual artists, this often comes naturally. Whether it's a specific color palette, a recurring theme, or a unique technique, many maintain a visual coherence that makes their work easily identifiable.
2. Logo and Artwork: Musicians can benefit from having a logo that represents their identity and can be used across various platforms, such as social media profiles, merchandise, and promotional materials. Some bands have even commissioned one visual artist for album artwork, which can also contribute to the overall cohesiveness of a music brand.
3. Stage Presence and Performance: Incorporate creative and unique elements into your live performances or art shows. This could include innovative stage designs, captivating lighting setups, distinctive costumes, or interactive elements that engage the audience. These elements will definitely create a memorable experience for attendees and keep them coming back!
4. Storytelling: Develop a compelling narrative or personal story that connects you with your audience. There is a saying that people don't buy art, they buy artists. This can often be true, and people are often drawn to artists with a story that resonates with them emotionally. Sharing your story can help create a deeper connection and loyalty among fans.
5. Social Media and Online Presence: Consistency across your social media platforms is essential. Use the same profile picture, banner, and colors across different channels. Engage with your audience regularly and share content that reflects your values.
5. Collaborations and Features: Collaborate with other artists and musicians, particularly those whose styles complement yours. This can help expand your reach and introduce your project to new audiences.
6. Authenticity: Stay true to yourself and your artistic vision. Authenticity is vital in building a brand that resonates with people on a genuine level.
7. Merchandise: Create merchandise that reflects your brand identity. This could include clothing, accessories, prints, or other products that feature artwork or logo. Fans often enjoy supporting artists they love by purchasing merchandise. This is another area where visual artists and musicians can team up!
8. Consistent Online and Offline Presence: Beyond social media, ensure your identity is consistent in all your marketing materials, website design, business cards, posters, and any other promotional items. Make sure you're easy to find. If your social media handle name is different on various platforms, pick one and match them across the board. If it becomes too hard to find you or your information, or if people feel confused on who you are, they usually give up and move on with their day.
9. Engage with Your Community: Interact with your fans and supporters regularly. Respond to comments, messages, and emails. Building a strong community around your brand can lead to loyal fans who will help spread the word about your work or project.
Remember, building a brand identity takes time and effort, so be patient and persistent. Stay true to your artistic vision, evolve as an artist, and keep engaging with your audience to grow and strengthen your identity over time.