Banksy Can Teach Us
Recently the popular graffiti artist Banksy opened an outdoor art stall and sold his valuable work for pennies on the dollar. The people who bought from him were fortunate indeed! Banksy gets attention from everyone, from the art elite to the man in the street, the media, marketing people, everyone. His latest stunt cost him a few pieces of art but has given him an enormous amount of publicity that he could never afford to purchase, including awareness of the selling price of his work.
In case you’re not familiar with his work, I’ve included a few images of his work. All are by Banksy.
What can we learn from Banksy?
Break the Rules!
Remember, Banksy is a graffiti artist; most of his work is technically a crime. However, if he does his work in places where it’s actually welcome, then he’ll go unpunished, although Mayor Blumberg may not be a fan. For example the owner of the brick wall shown on the right is unlikely to be angry at Banksy for his work.
We, too, should not be totally conventional, and we should look for places where we can break the rules and not do exactly what’s expected of us. But, like Banksy, we need to keep our rule-breaking within limits.
While departing from conventions calls attention to us, it’s important to understand that conventions govern what people expect to see, so if we go too far our message may be misinterpreted.
Let Images Tell The Story
Images are powerful story-tellers. So if your product or service lends itself to images, use them to tell the story. Have a beautiful professional photograph that shows the prospective guest how your hotel lobby looks like…or how one of your great apartments looks inside.
The front door of your restaurant, or the outside of your apartment building, is less important than images that speak more directly to the customer’s experience.
If you’re a restaurant show your most beautiful meal, not just your menu–and from the diner’s point of view. And show people having a great time. If you sell cars have beautiful photos of the cars, including a photo with the driver’s door open, ready for me to get in and drive. Use images that let your prospect place themselves into the picture. Show someone putting on that great-looking jacket, don’t show it on a hanger.
Create offerings that stand out enough to appear in the news. You’ll never be able to afford the publicity you can get with an exposure on a news show–or even that news item that gets syndicated and appears everywhere like the Banksy art stand.
Build a History with Your Brand
Banksy’s long history is consistent and has created a brand story. Similarly we should pay attention to the history of our brand over time and consider what we want our own brand story to be. If we build it in a consistent way, it’ll gain more attention and have more credibility.
The Bottom Line
The huge public attention captured by this graffiti artist has lessons for us, if we will but pay attention to the free advice he’s giving us.