Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What's Ur Brand?

I was thinking about a dot-com I worked for in 1999-2001 and listening to the CEO talk about our company's brand is this and that. So I asked, being a newer employee, "what does the market say we are?" He didn't respond nor did he care. The marketplace determines your brand. Yes, you can help shape your brand through customer and vendor touchpoints, but the market still determines your brand.

If you start a new business, you may think you know what you want your brand to be, but it is the market who determines it and you adapt to meet the needs of the market.

As actors, we may know what we want to be, but it is the CDs, producers, directors, agents, etc. who perceive us as something else - something that will generate revenue, which is our bottom line.

So, how does one determine their brand? Through research. Just as companies go through a SWOT analysis (they determine their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) to come up with a brand, so do actors. We research our brand and we align with people who are a fit with our brand.


Here is a step by step list that has helped me as well as others.

-Know your type. Take a type class. Ask others what type you are. Keep a list of the words or phrases that keep coming up.

-Develop your pitch or tag line. This is developed based on words that came out of the typing exercise. Mine is "heroine with an edge who battles rough and tough terrain with perseverance and poise, while concealing her true feelings for the greater good".

-Determine shows based on your type. Using the words from your typing exercise and your pitch, which shows best match with them?

-Determine the right agents and managers. Look at the shows you picked. Then, look at the co-stars or guest-stars - depending on your level - for the most current season of that show. Look at the agencies and/or managers repping those actors or actresses. Then, see how your star-meter lines up with these agencies. Are these agencies or managers at or slightly above your level? Look for the trends. Those are the agencies and managers you should target.

-TARGET. Marketing research indicates that it takes at least seven touch-points for a target to remember you or want to even do business with you. I say the number is more like 12. Reach out to these people. There are so many options available to do so: social media, mailing submissions, drop-offs, CD workshops, meeting at events, having a web presence, emails, phone calls, etc.

I'd love to hear the tagline you came up with.

Good luck.

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