Listen to your music for the first time again.
Examine your online presence as a first-time visitor would.
Imagine standing in a corner watching one of your shows for the first time.
Ask yourself: As a fan or potential fan, what does your stuff, message and existence do for me? The answer to this question is your ‘value proposition’.
All of this entertains me.
All of this helps me to forget.
All of this helps my social life.
All of this makes me socially aware.
All of this informs me.
All of this energizes me.
All of this calms me.
All of this helps me to feel young again.
Artists and songs don’t necessarily compete, but the value proposition(s) you choose to deliver defines the broad (market and product) segment you are competing within. For example: are you competing within the ‘all-this-entertains-me’ segment or within the ‘all-of-this-energizes-me’ segment or within an overlapping slice in between?
When considering the delivery of a value proposition, consider the following (random examples):
Example: Many artists attempt to compete (unfortunately) in the crowded ‘all-this-entertains-me’ segment of the marketplace. At any given moment (day or night), consumers have numerous entertainment options to choose from. If all you are delivering is ‘entertainment’ consider all of the other entertainment options (movies, theatre, comedy, television, etc) people can choose from during the same time slot. Sometimes, time slot management is as important as delivery.
Example: Chances are, your online presence is NOT at all capable of competing in the ‘all-this-entertains-me’ segment. A couple of YouTube videos, a pile of your photos and a music player featuring fourteen of your songs is not competitive entertainment; it’s just informative information (about you) and not much else. Consider which value propositions your online presence is delivering and do it purposefully.
Example: If you truly desire to compete in the ‘all-this-entertains-me’ segment, as well as within overlapping segments, such as ‘all of-this-helps-my-social-life’, consider working with many other artists to form a single online presence dedicated to truly delivering entertainment (50 to 60 selected songs from various artists is an ‘easier’ way to enable the obtainment of entertainment), and a global network of fans that share overlapping values, interests and desires can deliver the ‘all of-this-helps-my-social-life’ far better than your standalone artist-website.
Example: Work tirelessly to deliver other value propositions. For example: an artist recently said to me: “My music is pretty good…BUT everyone is hooking up at my shows.” His shows were packed. Consider what you can do (online and offline) to facilitate the ‘all-of-this-helps-my-social-life’ proposition. For artists, the ability to facilitate relationships (think about all the video and images you post) should be an easy proposition to deliver; moreover, for those of you that are contemplating unique revenue sources, the relationship industry is highly profitable.
Example: Don’t wed yourself to a single brand. Compilations are often popular because they excel at delivering unique value propositions such as: ‘all-of-this-makes-me-socially-aware’ or ‘all-of-this-energizes-me’ or ‘all-this-helps-me-understand-love’. Extend your songs out to other sites and brands dedicated to delivering and communicating specialized/unique value propositions.
Example: Correctly and strongly communicate your value proposition. All to often, artists will post bios and press releases where they compare themselves to other artists. Ok, you’re making ‘me’ connect the dots! Read what you write and ask yourself: what does this do for me? Are you entertaining me? Are you energizing me? Or, are you just giving me a bunch of adverbs, adjectives and comparative information? Which value proposition are you attempting to deliver?
Example: Recognize when your value proposition is tiring and/or when it needs to be extended. For example: occasionally artists will drape themselves in social messages (communicating the ‘all-this-makes-me-aware-of-the-problem’ proposition). Once the awareness message (any issue) hits the mass-market, the awareness delivery proposition tires quickly. You can either vacate the proposition (which was drawing attention to the social problem) or extend it (combine lightweight awareness with actionable solutions). The bottom line: monitor (competing alternatives, consumer reactions, social shifts) the propositions you are attempting to deliver, vacate when necessary and/or extend (the proposition) to remain relevant. The world changes rapidly.
Example: Asking the wrong question / solving the wrong problem. I see rap artists asking the wrong questions all of the time. Do I (the fan) want ‘all-of-this-to-make-me-angry’? (This in an exhausting proposition that usually has a short shelf life.) Contrast the angry rapper propositions to the overlapping propositions that U2 delivers: the sum of U2 entertains, energizes, informs and makes me (the fan) socially aware. Consider delivering positive, enduring propositions that matter.
There are countless examples of successful and unsuccessful value proposition selection and communication attempts. As I have defined ‘value proposition’ within this post, what works / doesn’t work for you or others? When you ask yourself what does this (all your stuff) do for me (the fan or potential fan)? What’s your value proposition(s)?
Note: Yes, this entire post could have been constructed differently. It could have been about ‘positioning’, ‘market segmentation’, other business/marketing lingo and etc. I get that. Thanks.
About Bruce Warila