Brand Botswana Director of International Portfolio, Gaorekwe Gaorekwe encouraged local artists to take personal branding seriously. Gaorekwe was speaking at the just ended Gaborone International Music Conference.
During his presentation, Gaorekwe said personal branding is a subject that is often taken lightly especially in music circles. “People don’t just like your brand, you have to create it and make it likeable. What people say about you when you leave the room is a reflection of how well you have branded yourself. As an artist you need to be clear about the image you want to project and be consistent in producing your music so that people don’t forget who you are and your brand. Unfortunately a lot of our musicians care very little about how they dress, what they say on social media networks which is why corporate entitiesfind it difficult to take them seriously,” said Garekwe.
He spoke at length about how local artists need to be mindful of what they share with their fans especially on social media. “Today’s followers are very smart, so the content you post online should be a good reflection of you and your brand. The other thing that I have noticed is that artists don’t read which is why some of their music lacks rich content.”
Some of the artists at the conference accused Brand Botswana of sponsoring shows with international line ups instead of promoting local artists and building Batswana artists and in response, Gaorekwe said, “Brand Botswana is a business and we go for people who give us value. Corporates are not in the business of promoting music that is not our business. So, we will only identify with musicians who have strong brands. Be different, authentic, consistent, visible, exciting and memorable. If we are requested to take Batswana musicians outside the country to represent Botswana, we will definitely not take a Hip Hop artist because you certainly can’t take Lil Wayne to meet another Lil Wayne, we would take someone whose music is a true reflection of what the country stands for which is why we usually take traditional groups or folklore artists because their music is authentic and true to our culture,” explained Gaorekwe.
He also encouraged artists to diversify so as to stay relevant. “Sometimes artists become irrelevant so try and do other things to increase your worth, try acting, give out to charity, try producing or just anything that will add on to what you already do so you don’t become one dimensional. Brand Botswana is interested in working with local artists but let me point out that we want to work with a group of you and not just one artist,” he said.