On Wednesday’s Outside the Frame show in Part One of Pricing Strategies, we discussed what motivates a collector to purchase original art, how artist confidence (or lack thereof) influences sales, and ways to immediately add value to your art by doing some very simple things.
Original art in marketing terms, is defined as a luxury item. The term “luxury” refers to merchandise that is purchased because it gratifies or satisfies not in terms of need, but in terms of desire. Spending on art is almost entirely discretionary, and the more expensive it gets, the more it takes on the characteristics of a luxury item. With discretionary items, consumers purchase luxury goods for the emotional gratification they anticipate that it will provide.
Primarily three triggers motivate collectors to buy original art; they are:
#1. A purchase of art is triggered as the result of a personal connection, either real or imagined, between the art/artist and the collector.
#2. A purchase of art is triggered by status or the belief, either real or imagined, that possessing original art sets the collector apart from those who do not own original art.
#3. A purchase of art is triggered by the desire to make a return on the collector’s initial financial investment with the hope that the original work will retain or increase in significance and value over time.
Each of the three types of collectors is attracted to art for different reasons therefore each looks for different requirements in order to make their art purchases. All will be attracted to the art for its point of view or impact, its style, and its quality of craftsmanship.
The first collector focuses on his or her ability to make a connection to the thoughts of the artist and/or share the artist’s perspective. It is this ability to understand and appreciate the art that attracts this collector and induces purchase. Whether this is achieved through actual conversations with the artist or vie the artist’s statement/bio, the collector bonds in some way with the art and artist, even if only in the collector’s mind.
To appeal to this buyer, all you need do is make your art accessible by sharing your process and influence behind the work with collectors. You can do this through discussions at exhibitions, festivals, and the like or via you artist’s statement.
The second collector focuses not only on their connection to the work but also with what owning this work says about them. This collector thinks about how the work will affect their social standing either through tangible or perceived benefits or detriments. For this particular collector, their self-esteem is tied to the work especially if the work is to be prominently displayed in their home or office. To appeal to this buyer, try to create works that are timeless and will survive fashion or style trends. The more overt your message in regards to political statements, philosophies, religious beliefs or values embodied in the art, the riskier it becomes to the collector to securely purchase your work as it may run counter to the beliefs held by members of their social circle.
The third collector focuses on art that he or she believes will rise in value and significance. These collectors are seeking artists that they feel are on the rise to stardom. Original art that is purchased for investment purposes is usually done so on the advice of counsel from an art consultant, art dealer, or some other influential art professional. To appeal to this buyer, you need to build a reputation and make yourself known to the people who are influential in the art world.
Everything that we consumers buy – especially luxury items – reflect aspects of ourselves. The clothes we wear, the car we drive, and how we furnish our homes is a declaration of personal style. Art is no different – the art people buy says as much about the buyer as it says about the artists who create it.
As artists, our confidence in our work – whether we are over-confident or under-confident – can be a huge factor in whether or not we sell our work. Arrogance is not accessible and desperation is not desirable. The terms you use to refer to your art can increase or decrease its value. For instance, a “master work” or “series of works” will have greater value than “student works” or “practice pieces”.
You add immediate value to artwork by informing, enhancing, and deepening the experiences people have when they see your art – which ultimately increases the price that collectors will pay to own it. Here are eight basic procedures you can put into action right now to enhance the value of your work.
*Sign Your Works
*Title Your Works
*Date Your Works
*Number Your Works
*Explain Your Works
*Provide Context to Your Works
*Document Your Works
*List Materials Used to Create Your Works
We’ve covered the first step toward developing a price structure on this episode. The next step, actually establishing a price for your work, is a little more involved. In order to establish a price for your work you need to understand the various pricing factors and how they relate to producing your product for your market(s) weighed against the costs you incur doing business. Do you know how many Productive Hours you work each week? When is the last time you took a vacation? Was it a paid vacation? Did you know that you could price your work in such a way as to pay yourself a salary that includes a paid vacation and sick days? Tune in to Outside the Frame next Wednesday at 1PM to learn how in Part Two of Pricing Strategies.
You can download the podcast on demand of the June 3rd show here: Part One of Pricing Strategies Special thanks to Shane Cox for providing the Outside the Frame theme “A Melody for Rachel”.