Pick a professional.
If your business is still very young, placing the all-important formation of your brand into the hands of an unqualified creative agency could cause severe long-term damage.
As unqualified dance teachers lack integral training in anatomy, physiology and syllabus work, inexpert designers lack fundamental education in design principles and application relevant to specific mediums.
Before entrusting your brand’s care to someone else, review the creative agency’s history, qualifications and current standard of work. If previous clients have gone on to perform well or continue to display strong form later in life, there is promise. If previous clients have suffered business damage or dropped from the scene entirely, there is cause for concern.
Good design, like truly great dance, ultimately stems from the heart. But without the correct foundation, your brand will never reach its full potential.
An artist does not compete.
In business, existing alongside industry competitors is inevitable. Though this may trigger a natural ambitious instinct, ‘winning’ does not define an artist’s identity.
On the Australian eisteddfod circuit, many children, parents and teachers place a troubling emphasis on the importance of coming first at all costs. Aggressive soloists dazzle the audience with mindless sequences of kicks, turns, flips and tricks, yet struggle to link simple movement with music. These children quickly fizzle out of the industry as adults – either unable to master correct technique, pick up foreign steps, or overcome the severe, lifelong injuries caused by uneducated teachers.
True artists don’t run themselves ragged for flimsy, subjective titles. They endeavour to physicalise music. To deliver their best to spectators. To evoke emotion. If your brand becomes so enamoured with solely trying to one-up competitors, business capacity suffers. Cheap imitation of rivals risks damaging reputation, with no assurance of a positive ‘win’ in the long-term.
If, however, you focus solely on your customers (and not on the competition), you can deliver work intended exclusively for them. This personal touch initiates an authentic connection between audience and brand – one that could potentially linger for a lifetime.
Train to be your best.
To maintain their elite standard, all artists of The Royal Ballet participate in a daily morning warm-up. In preparation for a tiring evening performance, lengthy rehearsals are scheduled during the interim.
To become the best dancers they can possibly be, members of the company are constantly driven and willing to work hard. The pure exhilaration of performing before an audience, of receiving applause, of finding the harmony between music and soul – these are the rewards of arduous diligence.
Running a successful business can’t always be ovation and roses. To establish a lasting brand, a love of your work is naturally required. But so are commitment, stamina and strength. If personal success leads to complacency in your daily routine, you will rapidly begin to lose ability and control.
You must always strive to master your work – otherwise it will master you.
Art is heart.
Dance verbalises what words cannot. Its unique poeticism resonates universally, distinguishing it as a rare, yet accessible art form. To make a real impact on people’s lives, brands – like dancers – must be heartfelt in their intentions.
Brand affinity stems from constantly surprising and delighting your audience, but your creative agency must ensure your collateral, look, voice, tone and identity still reflect the heart of your business. Designing a logo inspired by chicken for elite jewellers Tiffany & Co. is the equivalent of adding cartwheels to Swan Lake.
If the business choices you’ve made feel inauthentic to the essence of your brand, let your natural instinct lead. Work to establish a brand fuelled by your love, your hope and your passion. Customers will openly appreciate the genuine humanity that shines from the heart of your business – applauding your effort and talent.
True artistry can come from any field or profession, as long as it initially comes from within.