Groundbreaking Insights on Creative Professionals

Build a Brand That Gets a Response – Jenny Darroch

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Jenny Darroch headshotBuilding a brand means creating an expectation and giving your audience a chance to anticipate and desire what you’re making. We cover a lot of ground in this episode with Dr. Jenny Darroch, dean of the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. Jenny gives us a 30,000-foot-view of the art world, as well as the issues facing those who aim to bridge art and business. Host Daniel DiGriz and Jenny discuss the brand development challenges that visual artists face, tackling the question: “Do I define my brand, or do I let my brand evolve?”, as well as the principles of marketing, project management, keeping up with a changing market, and connecting with an audience. Check out the highlights below, and then download or stream the full hour-long episode.

On Strategic Audience Development:

  • “If there’s an expectation of what modern art should look like, do you become one of the many who can produce art of that kind, or do you make a bold statement and actually redefine how we look at contemporary art today?”
  • “No matter what the creative form is, we always play that game: by evolving, we can pick up new customers, but we can also alienate the old.”
  • “You’ve got this conundrum of audience development that can alienate the core audience…we need to be tuned into the market, but we need to pay attention to what’s new, and what’s possible.”

The Core of Art Business Education:

  • “We demystify the art world—education provides empowerment and puts people in a far stronger position.”
  • “The humanistic approach that we [in management] take does resonate with those in the arts community.”
  • “We see management as a liberal art, and that management revolves around the human condition.”

On Fostering Leadership in the Arts:

  • “Artists tackle issues that relate to society at large—the dysfunction that we see around us, the lack of purpose people have—and these values are really aligned with Peter Drucker’s values.”
  • “The thing that trips students up the most is embracing that a commercial approach to art is OK.”
  • The big picture issue “that faces both museums and visual artists is about audience development and engagement.”
  • “Learning is lifelong, and we can dip in and out of education at any point in our life.”

On Brand Management:

  • “When you’re trying to create your own brand, if you want to be commercially successful, you do need to hustle to be known in different art circles.”
  • “When you embark upon a program of audience development, you can end up confusing the brand…how does the brand maneuver and evolve as the audience expands?”
  • “Look across all forms of creative expression—there’s an abundance of product on the market and so many different ways to distribute the product to end users, so to be ‘good enough’ is not enough.”

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AvatarDaniel DiGriz
Daniel DiGriz is CHF's Creative Director and Director of Educational Programming. He's a founder at corporate consulting firm Free Agent Source Inc., and Digital Ecologist® at MadPipe which provides creative direction and marketing leadership to multiple firms. His background in Fortune 500 life is in sales and education. Daniel is a corporate storyteller and collector of brand stories who speaks at conferences and hosts podcasts, including The Thriving Artist™ Podcast. His personal website is DiGriz.com.

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