What Art Can Teach You About Marketing


Innovation is the principal driver behind both marketing and art and the reason for this is simple: marketing is a subset of art in general. Purists will insist that art is, by definition, not commercial but this an arbitrary judgment. Whether or not marketing makes money doesn’t change its fundamentally creative nature. Good art is evaluated based on its ability to drive the viewer to make new connections; good marketing is assessed by the same criteria. Marketers, therefore, stand to learn a lot from what makes art good. 

The Art of Brand Building: Three Key Lessons

  1. Be Real

Creativity is the act of provoking new connections in the viewer’s, reader’s, or consumer’s perception. These connections land because all art maintains a foothold in reality. Even the surrealists, whose entire ethos was based on rejecting reality, remained anchored to it in the same way a mirror remains anchored to the subject of its reflection. 

Marketers who want to provoke new connections in their target market likewise need to stay fixed to reality. However, not just any reality will do; companies need to plant their flag in their ideal customer’s reality. Think Andy Warhol’s 1980s Absolut Vodka posters. What better way to imprint the idea of both cool and classy than to collaborate with the era’s edgiest fine artist?

Being real doesn’t have to mean collaborating with iconic influencers; however, it does mean tuning into ever-changing popular sentiments. In 2021 this means gathering consumer data such that your marketing does not just reflect, but anticipates target market trends.   

2. Show Your Soft Side

Feelings are more powerful than ideas. This is why the attraction of so much art defies articulation. Savvy brands exploit this fact to its full potential, turning customers into followers. McDonald’s “I’m Loving It” campaign and Nike’s iconic “Just Do It” slogan are choice examples. 

Your brand need not stay stuck in consumers’ minds forever and all time (like the examples above), but it does need to tilt at an emotional response. Law firms want their clients to feel trust, talent, and personability in their brand. This is achieved by an intangible in marketing: tone—mastery of which requires an artist’s eye. 

3. Make an Impression

Art is everywhere. Marcel Duchamp famously turned a toilet into a work of art; Jean-Michel Basquiat covered cupboards with crayon. While the idea of drawing on art principles to brand a law firm might sound out there, grasping the notion’s potential is a matter of perspective. 

One of art’s primary objectives is to foster community. Stories bind us together; shared ideas are at the heart of every society. Your firm’s brand is part story, part product and its appeal is all in the telling. This refers as much to the internal branding that brings your team together and helps you retain talent as to the external branding that impresses a sense of belonging upon your clients. 

Top firms don’t just offer a service, they offer a chance at connection and your marketing needs to aspire to do the same.

Not long ago it was only aspirational brands selling luxury goods that needed to worry about how their product intersected with cultural trends. Now, in a digital world wherein customers have zero margin for compromise, it is every brand. If your brand does not land at the first click of a mouse, it won’t land at all. This is why law firms competing at the highest level entrust their marketing to marketing specialists—those best trained to ensure your messaging stays ahead of the trends.

To learn more about the crucial role creativity plays in commerce or to address any other subject related to marketing, do not hesitate to reach out to Legal Marking FLOW either by calling (720) 990-9673 or using the contact form on our website. 

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