Artist collaboration with brands is marketing gold.
That is, high-profile collaborations between famous artists and big businesses – they’re the campaigns that seem to gain traction and get tongues wagging. Art lends an air of luxury, integrity, community spirit and creativity, all at the same time. It’s an incredibly powerful tool, and the biggest names get access to the biggest names.
But what if you’re a small business – a really small business – that wants to make a mark without a huge budget?
Fortunately there are a few ways that an artist collaboration with brands and businesses can be accessed without deep pockets – by commissioning artwork, providing materials or becoming a patron of the artist.
Artist collaboration with brands: becoming an art patron with a small marketing budget
Most of us will have heard of artist’s patrons – we think of those rich aristocrats who made it possible for artists to earn a living from their artwork, weaving their way into art history in the process.
In recent years the role of patron has been passed on to those who may not be aristocracy, but are usually still rather wealthy… after all, it’s hard to gain traction as a serious art collector if you can’t afford to collect art.
Does this mean that the average joe can’t gain the benefits of becoming a patron? And why would anyone want to become a patron anyway?
What does a patron get out of the arrangement?
Anyone who wants to become a patron of the arts has to ask two things: what will it cost, and what do I get out of it?
Regardless of personal wealth, everyone has to weigh up the cost-benefit analysis to see if a venture or a partnership is worth getting into. Becoming an art patron is a kind of investment, and every investor hopes to see good returns.
For individual patrons, there will be benefits such as receiving artwork or memorabilia that in itself may well appreciate in value (getting in at the ground level), as well as receiving public acknowledgement of support (so your friends will know how fancy and generous you are).
The level of engagement and reciprocity involved in being an artist’s patron means you’re a step up from being a fan; you’re part of the picture.
For business patrons, there are a few perks:
- Great PR
- Networking and link building
- Valuable advertising
Why your business should become a patron, and how to do it.
There are several great reasons why your business should consider becoming an artist’s patron – here are a few of them as previously mentioned:
1 – It’s great PR!
Supporting an artist enhances your brand’s image. Art carries that feel-good factor that can’t be faked; we all aspire to a bit of creativity and seeing it supported in someone else makes us feel as though it may be supported in us.
Your company will benefit from the association with culture and creativity, and of course, being an individual artist’s patron carries a lot of credibility.
2 – Networking and building links
As a patron you will certainly be mentioned on an artist’s site, and depending on your level of support, receive a link back to your website. That’s one way to naturally improve your SEO without looking spammy.
This is also a fantastic way to network with other like-minded businesses and individuals, and direct traffic back to your brand.
3 – Valuable advertising
Patronage is fantastic advertising for your company. As well as acknowledgement on an artist’s website and newsletter, you can negotiate promotion on their social media channels.
With artists who blog there is also the option to commission sponsored posts or directly support an individual post or page.
If your business produces physical products, you may be able to donate some of those goods to an artist who uses those materials in her work – providing a brilliant ongoing advertising opportunity.
Working with arts organisations or directly with artists
As an example of working with arts organisations, local companies have been able to take part in the Blackburn Festival Of Making by contributing funding and materials to create artist commissions. Artists apply for the commissions, demonstrate how they aim to respond to the brief, and create their work in the context of the event, which brings in lots of traffic for all parties.
Commissioning an artist directly can be even easier than working with an arts organisation as go-between – you can either invite artists to respond to a brief or approach your ideal art practitioner directly.
Being an artist’s patron gives you a pretty amazing feeling!
You may not be as wealthy as a Medici, but even a small recurring contribution makes a difference to an artist. Imagine being able to call yourself a patron of the arts!
How to leverage your position as a patron
You can make your support of the arts go further by integrating it into your own marketing campaigns.
Highlight your collaboration in your own newsletter, blog and social media.
Talk about how your support is benefiting your community, or how your acquisition reflects your company values, or makes your employees’ work experience better.
If you’ve read this over and you’re convinced of the benefits of becoming an artist’s patron, head over to Patreon and have a look at my options – I’m sure you’ll find one to suit you!
P.S. if you’re an artist, writer or blogger, why not try Patreon for your promoting and supporting your own work?