jackson pollockThe world of art was forever changed by one of America’s household names: Jackson Pollock. Over fifty years after his passing, Jackson Pollock continues to break art industry records.

In May 2013, Christie’s auctioned off its highest grossing pieces of art, breaking all previous records. Jackson Pollock’s “Number 19” stole the show as the piece sold for $58.4 million dollars, over twice the amount originally estimated. So, how has Jackson Pollock managed to continuously capture the attention of millions? The answer is a lesson in branding.

How Jackson Pollock Reinvented Art

Prior to achieving recognition for his artistic abilities, Jackson Pollock dabbled in many existing forms of art including realism, surrealism, impressionism and cubism. Despite personal turmoil, Jackson Pollock thoroughly experienced existing trends in art and then added his own unique spin to the mix. The result was a one-of-a-kind form of art that carries viewers on an individualized artistic journey.

As the pioneer of the “drip” technique, Jackson Pollock accurately identified his competition (in this case, the existing trends in art), determined strengths and weaknesses of each, and then reinvented his favorite aspects of each style to form his unique brand of art.

As a result, Jackson Pollock developed a revolutionary style of art that has been mimicked by many and mastered by none. What does this have to do with my business?

What Pollock Can Teach Businesses about Branding

Pollock’s innovative approach to branding can be useful in relation to any industry. The development of Pollock’s brand can teach businesses a lot about effective branding. The keys to Pollock’s success include evaluation, experimentation, and consistency.

1. Evaluate The Competition

Savvy business owners and marketing professionals know that insights into the competition are invaluable. What has worked? What hasn’t? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each competitor? These questions can help nail down a foundation for developing a brand.

2. Experiment and See What Works

Pollock experimented with various styles of art before creating his own. When developing a brand, it is important to experiment with variations and test out different avenues. Without exploring all options, valuable learning opportunities are missed. Through experimentation a unique brand often emerges.

3. Be Consistent

The hard part is over. You’ve identified and tweaked your brand. It meets a need, it’s desirable, and it’s different. The best thing you can do with your brand, at this point, is to be consistent. A brand connects business to the community – it translates into something meaningful. While straying from the formula works for some, it is a risky practice. If we take a page from Jackson Pollock’s book, there’s no reason to fix what isn’t broken.

How does your business focus on branding? Are you consistent across all parts of the business?