Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I Don't Make Peanut Butter
Carl Jung had this theory called Synchronicity. Basically it's the idea that common themes recur in a short space of time in unrelated situations. Since I made my previous blog post this morning, I have been experiencing synchronicity with the phrase "branding yourself."
It just keeps popping up all over the place in relation to artists today. I realized this is simply the latest fad in selling jargon. To be honest I am not big on that sort of thing. These words are bandied about for a while and then replaced by some new phrase or word that casts an imposed importance on whatever the world feels we we should be focusing on as sales people at any given moment.
I saw one poor soul confused today because someone had asked her for a profile of herself and her brand. She wasn't sure what she was supposed to say about her brand or if she even had one. She was in a panic about it, because she felt as if she was doing something wrong or sub par as an artist since she didn't really have a brand pre se. I kind of felt bad for her, but it was at that moment that the whole thing struck me as funny.
Having lived in Wyoming for seven years, branding there means to burn your mark into the hide of your livestock so that it can be identified as yours. I envision holding the poor little bears down and searing a winged heart shape onto their posteriors. I don't think they would enjoy that any more than I would.
I also think most of us equate brand names with groceries or small appliances. The first thing that springs to mind is Jif peanut butter commercials from when I was a kid. But here's the thing...I don't make peanut butter. This brings to mind a mental image of the bears with a shrink wrapped label around their torso with my logo on it. Again...I don't think they would enjoy that, nor do I think it would add to my sales in the long run. *grins*
Anyone who has been an artist for any length of time will have developed the continuity to their style that will make their work identifiable. Especially when it comes to making bears and animals because they have a face.
With the ability for anyone and everyone who has ever made anything crafty to sell on the internet with such ease I have noticed an increase in what I think of as sales psycho babble. People are getting caught up in focusing on these issues as if they are so crucially important. What they should be focusing on is what they make. Selling things isn't that hard. You make it, put it out there and advertise it in some way to let people know it's there. That's all we need to do. We don't need to "brand" ourselves, that comes naturally when we decide what types of things we want to make and get to the point of having a recognizable style. We don't need to make ourselves crazy and over think it. Besides...branding irons and shrink wrap labels are a business expense none of us need.