Well, your unique selling proposition (USP) actually is one of the key components of your successful marketing plan and campaign.
How unique does an artist have to be these days?
We all want to be special, even more as artists. Trying to accomplish that brings out the best and worst in us.
Most of the time we wonder how we can make other people like us, rather than figuring out what we really want them to like us for.
It’s easy to fall into a trap of putting up a facade or character, if we think that’s going to work. And it’s even more tempting idea for artists trying to make a living as such. The creative sector is the one that, since the consumption of music doesn’t require a live performance anymore, inherently overproduces its goods. So you need to be special somehow, someway, to just get the chance to gain attention. But beware, the masses can sniff fake like a dog.
It’s entertaining but frightening at the same time to which lengths some people go, what kind of publicity stunts they pull to stand out. But remember, people talk about you BUT stay away from you if your standing in a pile of bullsh…
Yes, I am writing about keeping it real.
It is NOT only about what the audience wants, or what you think it wants, it’s much more about what you can credibly deliver.
How do you approach evaluation of YOUR unique selling proposition?
First off, YOU are your brand and USP is not just about being special it’s also about doing something special. As Wayne Ingram, professional actor himself, pointed out quite entertainingly, (read here) that today’s artists actually shouldn’t focus on just one proposition, but rather a package he calls a unique sell-able cocktail.
I absolutely agree, especially since there are hardly any really new ideas/unique selling propositions. If you do one thing, there are thousands of other people doing the same thing. The only way to take a chance at being unique or let’s say, less common, is the choice of ingredients you put into that cocktail.
Your starting point is you as a brand, but keep in mind it’s not just what you want to give, it’s what people think they get. Basically you have to ask yourself, what is the value delivered to your audience? What separates you from the competition in your market? What kind of appeal do you deliver to your target market?
Some great examples of today’s artists of creating a memorable USP:
- money-back guarantee for download of album like rapper Troy Ave
- creating music on stage with wearable tech like Imogen Heap
- be personal with your fans like Taylor Swift
- protesting against the use of auto-tune like Death Cab for Cutie.
- bring social, economical or health-related awareness
- the options are endless!
At the end of the day, just don’t break character. Especially not your own.