For years, the markets have been changing dynamically, becoming more and more digital and global, and consumers are exposed to a steady over-stimulation of promotional activities. Companies must fight for the attention of their customers in order to successfully position their products and generate a relevant sales volume. In the creative industry, the provision of services is based to a large extent on the participation of creators, who are closely linked to their services. As a result, the competition and the need to establish, differentiate and market themselves as artists is growing in this sector as well.
The brand in the creative industry
Recent scientific approaches have given the brand management a high potential for artists. The classic, product-related brand understanding cannot be adapted in the same way for people's brands. However, if this understanding is extended to include the components of service marks, such as the immateriality or transience of some artistic achievement, as well as the natural biological factors of man such as the aging process, a creator and his offer can also be understood as a brand.
If the artistic producer sees himself as an entrepreneur and a brand, many possibilities open up for the adoption of classical knowledge and methods for brand building and their management. Brand identity is of great importance as this can be influenced and controlled by the mark carrier itself. Identity is the front-line counterpart of the image, which is the image of the end-user.
The identity of the brand is made up of various elements, which ideally results in a closed and consistent picture. One factor is, for example, the appearance. This includes both the logo with which the achievements are marked, as well as the visual appearance of the artist. Both should be designed in such a way that it remains in the customers' minds and is recognized across the entire spectrum. Communication also plays an important role. In particular through the internet-based possibilities and the social media there is a wealth of channels and measures, which can be exhausted by the artist for self-marketing and networking. In addition to such personal elements, in his work „Popstars als Marke: identitätsorientiertes Markenmanagement für die musikindustrielle Künstlerentwicklung und -vermarktung“, Engh also distinguishes the product dimension and its design in relation to the popular music. This includes, among other things, the composition of the product (composition and lyrics) as well as the mode of production (instrumentation, recording, voice, etc.). Thus, the artistic product also contributes to the differentiation of the artist's brand.
Brand management as an opportunity
Often, the concept of the brand is rejected by artists because it involves a connotation of economization and commercialization. Instead, the concept can also be understood as an opportunity by which a producer can successfully establish itself against its competitors on the market. This is because a clearly defined and communicated brand identity can create a positive image among the target groups, which in turn is an important key factor for the purchasing behavior. Likewise, the brand construction offers the artist the opportunity to formulate his artistic value, both in a symbolic and an economic form, which can secure a self-assured position in negotiations with co-operation partners (e.g. sponsoring).
Photo © "Edgethreesixty branding" by EdgeThreeSixty TM at Flickr under a Creative Commons-license