Being Iconic: David Bowie’s Inventiveness In Reinventing His Brand.

David Bowie is an iconic rock legend best known for two things: his genius music talent and his ability to invent his image again and again…and again.

Throughout the four decades of his career fans saw him create countless personas, adored each and every of his transformations in music style and the image that projected it and ultimately bought his records rendering him as one of the greatest music artists in terms of sales.

David Bowie’s talent in inventing his brand/himself, can serve as a great guide when it comes to creating or relaunching a brand whether you are a designer or a brand owner. Let’s see what he did and what knowledge we can gain:

  1. He changed his name from David Jones to David Bowie to avoid getting confused with another artist by the same name. Tip: Your brand name should be as unique as possible. 
  2. He struggled for years to find his own voice and style until Space Oddity reached No 5 in the charts in 1969. Tip: Your brand communication must own its… own voice and character to reach your targeted consumers. 
  3. He used all media available at the time to get his message through to his audience. Tip: Today’s vast media solutions can help brands be easily known. Use them. No one wants to try hard to find you. 
  4. He experimented with his image and incorporated the contemporary cultural trends in such a way that are now considered as his own inventions. Tip: Don’t be afraid to go with the flow of contemporary trends, just make sure they fit your brand’s personality and that they won’t overshadow your voice and character. 
  5. He created music for every music style was there in his time and still made his own mark. Each time everyone knew it was David Bowie! Tip: If your brand extends to a range of products make sure that your identity is always recognizable.

Conclusion: Be unique. Create your own brand character and voice. Find the media that fit your needs and budget and use it. Experiment with your image but keep it close to your true identity.

* Being Iconic, is a series of short articles examining the many different aspects of branding and design.


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