In Acadiana we make a lot of music, we like to dance, and now we’re making moves we call the Pandemic Pivot.
It’s a cliche now that everyone has a brand. Drawing distinct boundaries around you are, what you do — and maybe just as importantly what you don’t do — isn’t just for selling toothpaste anymore. It’s what people do. They trademark their identities.
Branding of course has its own professional standards that vary from industry to industry. How you sell yourself as a musician is very different from how you might sell a car. The language and vocabulary are different. What matters to customers or audiences is different.
And those languages might be different in different places…just as they are different in different industries. But now, what used to separate markets are merging together. We have the power to reach the world. But that also means we have to compete with the world.
Like anything else. This gets even weirder in the post-Covid era. We’re all digging for gold virtually now. And for some industries that rely on personal connection — the detachment can be challenging.
Christiaan’s guest on this edition of Out to Lunch Acadiana are hacking their own ways through this brave newish world, sorting out how to sell a brand in a collapsed economy and a shrinking map.
Musician Dustan Louque has made a career for himself on the road for two decades now. His brand of artful folk has been accompaniment to a #vanlife approach to his career. Unlike many independent musicians, he’s managed to build a gainful career on top of deep connections with an audience scattered throughout the country. Since the pandemic, he’s pivoted to virtual performances to keep trucking.
Jaci Russo is a branding strategy guru and co-owner of BrandRusso, a multifaceted marketing and branding agency based in Lafayette. BrandRusso serves a diverse base of clients from all four corners of the United States. Jaci and her husband Michael, the firm’s chief creative officer, have developed a unique approach to branding that kicks jargon to the curb and hones in on relating consumers to her clients. They call it Razor Branding and Jaci hosts a successful podcast about that strategy fittingly called — the Razor Branding podcast.
Wilson Savoy is a Grammy winning Cajun musician, best known as leader of the band The Pineleaf Boys. Although he’s reached the pinnacle of success, Wilson, like Dustan, has also turned his back on a nationwide professional music career and chooses to sacrifice the highs and lows of life as a fulltime musician to continue living in Lafayette, building houses. But Wilson is discovering that you can only turn your back on the wider world to a certain extent. Although he idyllically might want to once in a while climb down from the roof of a construction site and climb up on a stage and play accordion or fiddle or keyboard – things aren’t quite that simple right now. Case in point – this year’s Festivals Acadians et Creoles, which was an online virtual festival.