Andy Warhol is arguably the most influential artist of the last century. More than 3 decades after his death, he remains a master of brand extension with undeniable relevance. Warhol recognized marketing not as an extra step but as an essential part of his work. Check out our top 5 Marketing lessons we learnt from Andy Warhol:
Your personal brand is how you sell yourself to world. No one understood the significance of this quite like Warhol. He cultivated a visually striking look, decked out in a silver wig, black polo-necks, faded jeans and signature red-rim glasses. Warhol turned himself into a recognizable product, dramatically contrasting the Mad Men crowd he worked with, ready to be marketed. His brand's image was perfectly captured in 1968 advertisement in Warhol placed in The Village Voice:
"I'll endorse with my name any of the following: clothing, AC-DC, cigarettes, small tapes, sound equipment, ROCK 'N' ROLL RECORDS, anything, film and film equipment, Food, Helium, Whips, MONEY!! love and kisses ANDY WARHOL. EL 5-9941.
Harnessing a group of dedicated followers is still the most powerful online marketing strategy. Warhol successfully managed this by creating a melting pot of creativity with his studio, The Factory. A branded work space that was run like a manufacturing plant, where artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers were invited to dare to be different and collaborate with Andy. The Factory was also known for it's outlandish parties thrown at any given time.
Warhol’s silk-screened portraits were one of the most coveted status symbols of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Every underground party and a trip abroad Warhol took was another networking opportunity. He surrounded himself with his target market, building personal relationships with potential clients and establishing trust. Warhol's work defined stereotypical art standards harnessing attention. However it was his proactive networking that helped him gain a revolving door of eager clients.
Warhol did not to need to call papers and magazines to beg for features. He was the news. His fascination with tabloid cultures and celebrities allowed him to navigate the press and dictate the stories he wanted told. His carefully curated aloof persona and thought-provoking comments proved to be catnip to a media desperate to uncover the real Andy Warhol. The less he said, the more fascinated they were. They followed his career and personal life religiously, helping him sell millions of dollars’ worth of paintings.
Andy Warhol understood the importance of having a multi-hyphenate career. Once he cultivated a loyal fan base, he extended his brand to different mediums all under the umbrella of creativity. Warhol shot and produced a number of films, created a television show with MTV called Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes and launched a successful magazine known as Andy Warhol's Interview. He did not shy away from the corporate world, working with companies like Absolut Vodka’s for their artist series and BMW. He took risks, red-defined art and became an ICON.