Marketing Is Also About Creation

A story about Marketing, Art and the birth of the artistic brand


Tealfeed Guest Blog

3 years ago | 5 min read

We’ve heard a lot about the role of marketing in the conception of a product.

Some say that marketing does everything since it is the one that makes the product sell, that gives meaning to the product and concrete visibility. Some others that we should be avoided to think about marketing before having completely built a product that matters.

These two visions meet in the sense that products and brand must merge to create something remarkable, something worth the interest and attention that the public can give.

In this context, the role of marketing is essential, since it makes both the product and its promotion agree on the value we seek to provide and the audience we seek to serve. By that, it enables us to create a unique identity, capable of improving the relevance and the qualities of the product we want to create.

This particularity of creation, which draws its inspiration from truly knowing the value it seeks to provide, can be found in the history of art, especially in the birth of the great Artist.

Let me tell you this story.

Marketing and The Birth of The Great Artist

We can date the birth of the artistic figure to the 19th century.

Subjected to institutions outside art (religion, politics or the economic power of people of influence), Primitive, Renaissance or Golden Age artists did not experience the sociological conditions to promote themselves as artists. The empowerment of the artistic field from other fields only appeared at the end of the 19th century, when the creation of an Art market was made possible.

This is actually Bourdieu’s thesis in his book Rules of Art (and I recommend you to take a closer look at it).

What the 19th century allowed is the birth of artists who proclaim themselves as artists and sell their works in their name. It is the birth of the artist’s own brand and the invention of artistic promotions (museums, exhibitions, social and artistic gatherings, the constitution of a specific market for artistic goods).

This promotion doesn’t actually have had as sole objective financial gains, it has aimed mainly for a symbolic gain linked to reputation and recognition of true artist’s works. Artists sold their works mostly to obtain an artistic authority that could spread over time and space. They were in the quest for the masterpiece and the creation of the Great Art.

A Courbet, a Manet, a Monet and all the Parisian excitement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries have sought to constantly shake up the status and role of artists commonly attributed by society to define their own way of defining art.

In other words, a kind of artistic marketing has emerged that has been seeking to build an everlasting figure — that of the artist, of the Work — differentiating, remarkable and unique.

But what does that tell us about product design today?

Marketing Is Not Only About Promotion

Since that time, art history has accelerated with artists increasingly concerned with deconstructing the work of art in all its forms (colours, perspectives, etc.).

Artists’ obsessions like Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol and Picasso was to put their names to increasingly abstract and disconnected works as if everything could become art (paper, cardboard, everyday objects, advertising posters).

In this destruction of form, modern and contemporary artists have discovered that you can give meaning to practically any kind of objects, and to transform them into art. It was enough to attribute these objects to their artistic name and signature, to make them immediately meaningful to the eyes of the public.

To these artists was attached a very strong artistic brand (who does not know the legend of a Picasso or a Duchamp?) that transformed into gold everything that came out of their hand. Every time they have associated their name to a work, this work could attract to itself all the attention.

What they teach us marketers is the power of a strong brand to give meaning to any product.

Contrary to what one might think, marketing does not stop at promoting existing products; it is an essential part of the creative process. It is literally from the brand of a great artist that the greatest masterpieces have symbolically emerged and been forged.

And more than just a signature, the symbol has its importance.

The Symbolic Power of Marketing

As a writer on Medium, you may have realized how much stronger the inspiration was when you finally discovered your true identity as a writer, namely the unique value you bring to a unique audience.

The creation of a strong brand is linked to an increased awareness of our ideal audience, the one from which we draw all our creativity and productivity. The great artists to whom I have just referred had a keen sense of their artistic ambition: they simply aimed at posterity by creating a unique and remarkable work.

Product marketing should also aim at this coincidence between a work and its horizon of expectation, by including in its products a strong signature.

How can such a coincidence be made possible?

By continuing to work on the product and have it tested until it can deliver unique and recognizable value.

But this work is not just about programming, features, improvements and technical updates.

It must also be a work on the symbol and the meaning you want to give to your product. Like the great artists, you need to impose a strong signature on your product, a particularity, a strangeness (the trait of a Picasso, …).

Like the power of a work of art to challenge the status quo, your product design should express a strong definition of what kind of products they should represent (is a chair used to sit or to decorate ? Is a video streaming platform used to entertain, to teach or to make experience ?…) and gather around it a community.

You should, therefore, care about the symbolic meaning of your product and the different interpretations that can be given to them: like an artistic object, what does it say of our time, our world, our society? Which vision does it convey of the user, of its personality and life, of the future of the product and its use? What particularity can make it singularly differentiating like an artistic work?

Only that way, your products may become truly legendary, through space and time.

This article was originally published by Jean-marc Buchert on medium.


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