BrandStoryNow brings marketing insights, case studies and consulting to San Francisco's Conservatory of Music


(San Francisco) - BrandStoryNow, a marketing training for classical artists, launched at San Francisco's Conservatory of Music on Sunday, November 20th. The inclement weather didn't dampen attendance or interest among an activated group, which included opera singers, academics, opera company representatives, startup founders, and classical collaborative pianists.

Brand consultants Cristin O'Keeffe and James Mowdy welcomed and chatted with guests until the formal presentation began. O'Keeffe kicked off things by inviting attendees to pair up and learn their partner's name, profession and a noteable achievement within 3 minutes of conversation. Once time was up, each person introduced his or her partner, which, in addition to being an excellent group ice-breaker, demonstrated the value of unique personal and professional brand story.
Mowdy then launched into the BrandStoryNow presentation, exploring the following:

  • How and why classical artists are powerful brands in a global marketplace

  • Establishing and defining unique brand identity, values, goals, and strategy

  • Constructing powerful brand stories across social media & real-life

Once a few spontaneous audience questions were addressed, O'Keeffe took the reins to guest present Active Listening and Social Networking, the latter covering the online and traditional networking perspective. Her points included:

Mowdy continued with several case studies, ranging from cautionary tales like opera's Tamar Iveri and New Balance in the age of Trump, to the cross-platform arts brand success of opera singers Ailyn Pérez and Jonathan Blalock, respectively, as well as an examination of classical superstar Lang Lang's global dominance, and West Edge Opera's astute, year-round use of Facebook.

A deeper discussion of social media analytics, goal-setting and true ROI also spurred spontaneous discussion amongst all in attendance, seguing nicely into an extended, post-presentation Q & A.

BrandStoryNow attendee feedback:

"Social media is a valuable tool for nonprofit art organizations," said West Edge OperaMarketing Director Kate McKinney via email. "BrandStoryNow taught me how to create social media content that's consistent with West Edge's brand, while also attracting a diverse audience to our various (social) accounts and, ultimately, our performances."

Enchanted Book founder Bridget McGraw via email: "As a digital veteran with a beginner’s mind, I appreciated approaching familiar material with a fresh outlook. It was great to be reminded by Cristin that I need to set SMART goals for the Enchanted Book. Also, James' case studies brought home the critical importance - and balance - of one’s social media presence. "

Opera singer Carolyne Anne Jordan - who most recently sang with the San Francisco Opera chorus in "Aida" - kindly direct messaged the following, with permission to share: "Thank you, James! I really appreciated everything you (and Cristin) shared, and I know I can benefit from using Instagram Stories and as well as other (social media tools)...will also share this into with Opera On Tap San Francisco!"

San Francisco-based classical music fan Josh Dougherty via email: "The BrandStoryNow seminar presented a lot of valuable information that's applicable to all aspects of your life. James's case studies demonstrated how simple your brand can be - it doesn't have to be some complicated marketing strategy devised by an expensive team of gurus. Maintaining presence on social media allows your personality to shine while using your most valuable and unique marketing tool: yourself. Cristin's presentation on active listening was a well laid out guide to strategically engaging in conversation instead of just trying to think of the next thing to say. The whole presentation was great, and I definitely recommend it to anyone looking to develop his or her brand."

Published on | November 29, 2016