I have just bought an art piece by internationally known artist Fahamu Pecou, Atlanta based, and I wanted to let this brilliant artist know what I am thinking of his art. I have written him an open note that I share at the end of this post. While writing this open letter, I realized that Fahamu also has few thing to teach marketers about branding and the weight of culture in the identity of their corporation.
Identifying a common culture
Culture is what defines who we are and it applies to people and corporations. Building a brand can be challenging, and it is mostly due to the conflicts of internal cultures. In Fahamu’s case finding the right culture might not fit with what your environment is used to, and you need to turn your difference into an asset. Embracing your culture allows you to be honest with yourself and the people that interact with you. Your mask is yourself, and you pull yourself up. Everybody is not supposed to like your style, but at the end of the day, your personal culture should empower who you are and the work you do.
It is important to note that culture grows, it is not a static concept.
Know where you come from
In branding, your geographic location is important because it creates a connection with people around you. Being active in your local community allows you to create a follower base that you can bounce against, it allows you to take the pulse of the market.
Staying close to the base is challenging because they know you well and you will have to keep them interested in what you are doing. It forces you to keep innovating and pushing your limits. Doing so will open communication channels with your brand and turn them into your most fervent supporters.
Your brand needs to be true, genuine and connected to your target market. Be honest with yourself to communicate the emotion that you put in your brand to your consumers. Being honest comes from having the right alignment between your work, your passion, and your activity.
Remember that most people have other options when they buy an item from a store, select a service or buy an art piece, your brand equity usually make the difference.
Open Note To Fahamu Pecou
Art is universal. Art is accessible. Art sets you free.Art is the vision of the artist in its context. In our large African community it has been present in hip-hop music and movies (Spike Lee), but Fahamu, you are the pioneer in urban African American painting.Your vision, and work speak volume as you lay out the most unselfish vision of completeness and self-control. I raise my boys so that they can be free to think outside the frames, on canvas that can be a train station or the podium of the highest office. Fahamu Pecou gives wings.Albert Einstein had a short attention span, Basquiat scribbled, Fahamu is too urban they would say.I pray that your canvas keeps getting bigger and that your vision and ideas make people feel uncomfortable.Art is not just boxed in color and brushes, it is the expression of creativity whatever the medium.Thank you for your social engagement and your commitment to bringing Art into the large African community.