Branding is the Only Power Artists Have

This post is by Clint Watson, former art gallery owner and founder of BoldBrush, recognised for FASO Artist Internet sites, the primary service provider of specialist artist web sites, the $38,000+ BoldBrush Painting Competition and the free of charge daily art marketing e-newsletter, FineArtViews. As a self-proclaimed “art fanatic”, Clint delights that BoldBrush’s San Antonio, Texas office is entire of primary art, as is his home place of work. You can connect with Clint on TwitterFacebook or his own site at




Branding is the only electric power artists have.


I am utilizing the expression “electrical power” narrowly right here as outlined in the book 7 Powers: The Foundations of Small business Tactic by Hamilton Helmer.




In business enterprise technique, “electric power” is defined as this:  the set of ailments generating the opportunity for persistent differential returns.


In plain English that implies:  You can charge much more cash than your competition mainly because you have a energy that they do not.


The reserve defines numerous powers these kinds of as economies of scale, counter-positioning, switching expenditures, and course of action ability.


But as I read the e book, I understood that the only a single of the seven powers out there to artists is branding.





Branding, in the perception of becoming a electrical power, is described a lot far more narrowly than the way most marketing and advertising folks use the time period.  


Branding as a power exists because you’ve developed a few circumstances close to your brand name:


1.  The developed-up associations with the manufacturer elicit fantastic feelings about the supplying, unique from the objective worth of the excellent. 

2.  Uncertainty reduction. A purchaser attains “peace of mind” understanding that the branded solution will be as just as anticipated.

3.  Ailments 1 and 2 permit you to charge a big value high quality more than competitors.  (With out this you have no ability)


Helmer statements that these three ailments can only be developed by providing a regular and very significant-quality merchandise about a very long period of time.  Generally a period of time spanning a long time or, much more likely, a long time.


After a corporation has spent many years setting up their brand, the electrical power will come specifically from issue #3:  the the potential of a branded product to cost a significant premium selling price around what opponents are equipped to charge.


In addition, only certain varieties of items can advantage from the electrical power of branding.  Branded ability tends to accrue only to luxury merchandise and more, only to goods that are extremely affiliated with one’s id.  Merchandise like higher close clothes, watches, wines.


The example cited in the guide is Tiffany.  Tiffany can cost approximately double the rate for the very same diamond ring you can get at Costco.  This quality price can be charged because of to the assure at the rear of the potent Tiffany brand.  And it truly is taken many years for Tiffany to build that manufacturer (they started out in the 1800s).


To illustrate the distinction involving advertising and marketing “branding” and “Ability Branding” look at this:  Coca-Cola’s electric power does not come from “branding” since, although Coca-Cola may be the world’s most nicely-acknowledged “brand”, you won’t pay a significant premium for Coca-Cola about Pepsi or other colas.  In brief, you would not spend $50 for a can of coke.  (Coke’s power stems extra from its highly effective distribution community).



Producing Brand name Energy as an Artist


Here’s wherever factors get intriguing for us:  Despite the fact that the writer won’t mention it in the e book,  his description of the type of merchandise that can be powerfully branded reads like a record of  characteristics associated with initial artwork.


Let us go again through the characteristics of a item that can build brand energy:


1.  High conclude excellent

First art, particularly by properly-recognised, “powerfully branded” artists is costly.


2.  Linked intently with identification

Art purchasers affiliate closely with the artwork they invest in and the artists whom they invest in from.  In their social circles, art prospective buyers are typically regarded as “the artwork human being.”  Art associates with id perhaps even extra than watches, wine or Louis-Vuitton baggage.


3.  High-quality Assure/Uncertainty reduction

If I acquire a David Leffel portray, I have no dilemma about the high quality I’ll be getting.  More recent artists have not produced that standing but.


4.  A long time to a long time create the brand

Once more, I have superior feelings related with the “David Leffel” brand.  It can be taken him virtually a lifetime to generate that.  It will take decades – even decades.



I remember working with a young artist, whom I phone Sarah (fictitious name).  Sarah had analyzed with David Leffel.  Sarah’s paintings were fantastic.  In a lot of methods, I liked some elements of her work even better than Leffel’s.  Nevertheless, Sarah’s operate marketed in the assortment of $3,000 – $7,000 every single.  Leffel’s performs marketed in the vary of $30,000 – $90,000 every single.


That is virtually a 10X rate quality for a Leffel.  That’s electricity.


Which is the energy of branding.  And that’s  the only power  you, as an artist, have out there.


The great news is that it’s not tough:  Continue to keep painting continually, only provide paintings of the quite greatest quality, make sure that all interactions with buyers are positive and elicit “very good feelings about the offering.” (stop publishing politics on Fb!)   Do this constantly around a interval of decades and yrs and the electric power will slowly and gradually but definitely accrue.


Until following time, you should remember that Fortune Favors the Bold Brush.




Clint Watson

BoldBrush/FASO Founder & Art Fanatic




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