By Ken Gasque
- Creating a brand is essential if increasing sales is a goal.
- Differentiation is vital. Your product has to be different if it is going to matter.
- Design is your ultimate tool…we buy with our eyes.
- Your label is more important than your product.
- Learn to steal.
Steal Like an Artist, 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, by Austin Kleon
The first thing I did after reading this book was to order four more for my children (I will send a note and tell them to read it and read it to my grandchildren). The book is about creativity and how we achieve it. Most of our creativity comes from our take on the work of others. I had a college professor, maybe history, but that was a long time ago, say quite often, “There hasn’t been a new idea in the last 500 years.” Of course, there were those of us who would challenge him but he always won. He could show how an idea came from a previous thinker. This book does a great job of illustrating and condoning theft.
Austin Kleon starts by listing some of the admitted thieves. “Art is theft.” Pablo Picasso. “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal…” T. S. Elliot. “The only art I’ll ever study is stuff that I can steal from.” David Bowie. There are many more quotes but you need to read the book. OK, I will offer this one last quote because it is a good one. “It is better to take what does not belong to you than to let it lie around neglected.” Mark Twain.
The book is more than stealing it is also about what you are doing to continue your education, productive procrastination and collecting stuff you love and know you will need some time in the future. And creative marketing.
It’s small, it’s an easy read, and it’s inspiring. Get some copies for birthdays or a gift for an artist or writer or as a gift for yourself. Let me know your favorite book on creativity and especially on design. Advertise, it pays. Especially if you are doing creative marketing.
Creating a brand is easiest done by using design. Think Absolut Vodka Absolut Vodka went from nothing to the most profitable Vodka product based on nothing more than a bottle design.
Differentiation is branding. Your differentiation is your label. The best labels are pressure sensitive because they offer the most flexibility with printing. You need the best printing you can get to make a difference that matters.
Design because we buy with our eyes. Design differentiates. Your label may be the only advertising your customer will ever see about your product. They may never try your product if they are not interested in your label.
Read Steal Like an Artist and then look at other packaged goods outside the brewing industry. Find ideas that might apply to your product. Steal like an artist.