This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Commercialization: Is it a bad thing?

Coca-Cola WaterCoca-Cola Water (Photo credit: @mjb)

        Critical acclaim is something you have to earn, but if you've got it why not flaunt it.  Even if you haven't gained the acclaim, but you believe you're good enough and the right people have reinforced that for you, why not take it to the next level?

          Commercialization is often perceived as a bad thing.  This is something a lot of artists should try to get over if they are trying to sell product.  Even an author of literary fiction, serious poetry, or scholastic non-fiction needs to think in commercial terms if they want to sell their products for money.  Stop looking at all commercialization as tacky glitz and clamor, and see it as merely a process of creating attention for whatever it is you want to deliver.

           Producers of consumer goods and providers of service know the importance of using commercialization to build business.  Those of you who are in the arts need to consider whether you're in it to make a living or otherwise.  If it's otherwise then have fun, but it's the former then start thinking with a business mind.

            Don't compromise your values to obtain what you want, but accept that you need to take action to reach your market.  Commercialization doesn't have to be crass or in your face.   Adapt your marketing campaign to reach your desired target audience.

             If you've produced something that's worth having then realize that you or somebody is going to have to sell it.  Selling is an action that can take many forms, but those actions all fall under commercialization.

  A blog to C:

Club Creative Studio looks like a blog that might endorse the concepts of commercialization.    

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  1. Thought provoking post, Lee. It goes along with something Lee Roddy said in the forward to Write His Answer (by Marlene Bagnull): “If it is God’s will for us to write, then it’s logical that publication should eventually follow. After all, an unfinished manuscript cannot change lives. Even a finished one cannot minister in a drawer or filing cabinet. Only in published form can a book (or article) go where you and I will never go, to people we will never meet. Only in published form can (our writing) make a difference in eternity.”

  2. For artists that is such a hard step. We've been brainsmacked that to make art you can't be commercial and it's difficult to still those voices. But you're right! If you want to live on your passion, you have to take some business steps to make it happen.

  3. Great post! I think regardless of your goals, it can only help us as writers to educate ourselves on the commercial side of things. Even if we hate what's selling and wouldn't dream of approaching those waters, it doesn't hurt to know.

    J.W. Alden

  4. Lee,

    I think people perceive their products as too much an extension of themselves. You've heard people say to their friends whose adult children have gone astray, "Your children are not a reflection of you."

    My sister - a talented sculptor (welder) - has a very hard time selling her things. She can't get out there and she is SO not good at pricing. I'm a better marketer for her and I'm not even a welder.

    Me, I can't shut up about something I've produced. I'll announce on FB about a new blog post! Then I cringe inside if no one reads it, or I get no "likes", or I get negative comments, or I get a positive comment couched in a negative comment because someone wants to argue with me.

    Is there a middle ground?


  5. Having my two books on Amazon one has to think of selling, though it was hard work but fun producing the booksit's always a bonus when one is sold.

    Loved the post.

  6. I agree that as long as you don't sell your soul in the process, commercialization isn't evil. It's necessary.

  7. I agree with you that commercialisation is necessary at a certain point, in my eyes commercialisation is good for the person being commercialised but bad at times for the actual consumer.

  8. i always seem to learn something new when I read your blog

  9. It's marketing and in this day and age, I can't blame them.

  10. Great thought provoking blog. Commercialization is crucial to competent capitalization as long as one doesn't crucify one's conscience.

    Gregg Metcalf

  11. Hey there, Commercialization is a great C word that I am sure may creative people think about often. As a beader, just starting out trying to sell a bit, I am often torn between beading what I desire to bead and what I believe will sell.

  12. I really enjoy watching commercials and reading ads. I used to be an advertising copywriter and I loved it! The creativity, thinking outside the box. Right now JC Penny's is ROCKING the ad world. Their new approach is brilliant. I wish I was on their creative team. Great post!

  13. Now I want a Coke...LOL. You made some important points. Marketing isn't evil, it's effective. It's hard being a writer, and we need to take all the advice we find to market ourselves.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

  14. Interesting argument on the subject, and pretty confident too. You've given me something to ponder. I have no problem with promoting in this way. You just don't want to be so in-your-face that you become annoying.

  15. This is something I am working on. I want to sell my photographs and know I need to step it up if I want to make a living at it. Thanks for the related articles and off to check out Club Creative Studio. Have a great day!

  16. You nailed it when you said - if you've produced something that's worth having the someone will have to sell it. Whether its writing a novel or creating a toy. If we didnt commercialize our creative efforts then so many wouldnt get to share in those things that can heal, bring job, save a life or just bring entertainment. Commercialization is not a bad thing - if done right and with truth.

  17. Some great comments here so far and I thank you all for them.


  18. Gee, Arlee
    As I have been participating, I have noticed how easy it is to exchange conversations with the other wordpress blogs! I get a little message thing in my right hand top screen that says there's a message and sure enough, someone else responded to my comment on their blog. So I can go back there and answer them and wait for another response. Unfortunately it only works with the blogs that are ON wordpress's servers, it doesn't work that way with my own blog, which resides on my own website.

    Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

  19. I really don't understand why people see commercialization as a bad thing. Why it's seen as "selling out."

    If you're passionate about something, isn't it becoming Commercialized a good thing because then it's reaching a larger audience?

  20. 'Those of you who are in the arts need to consider whether you're in it to make a living or otherwise. If it's otherwise then have fun, but it's the former then start thinking with a business mind.'


  21. Commerce is at the heart of society. Without commerce there is no prosperity. I write because i love writing but I publish because of a desire for commerce.

  22. So true. Commercialization doesn't have the best connotations, but it's necessary. Thanks for the interesting post!

  23. My husband and I co-own a business with two locations and I can relate to this article very much...thanks for sharing and great post as usual...blessings.

  24. Well said. I agree - there is nothing wrong with making a living off your talent. In fact, I view it as a "dream job".


  25. Hello,
    What a great post! Very though-provoking. I think this is my new favorite blog! I will definitely be back to see what you dream up for the other letters, and to read more of your lovely writing. I am following now.

    I am doing the A to Z Challenge as well. Take a peek at my blog too if you get a chance! I write humor, and everyone says I am the funniest person on the planet (well, maybe it is just the voices in my head saying that—that’s the doctor’s latest explanation—but I will take what I can get).


  26. Well you have to get the word out somehow right? Well if you want your product to be sold.

  27. i would love to get paid for what i believe i am good at doing--thanks for the blog

  28. personally, the only 'thing' I don't want to be commercialized is the place I go on vacation. Commercialism = crowded....
    Good thoughts...

  29. Patterson did a great job commercializing himself.

  30. I think that to some people, commercialisation is like a "swear word" and equated with "rip-off" tactics!
    Perception... perception...

  31. Making money is great but not ALL money is Good money. I like to sleep with a clear conscience.

  32. Interesting post. No one wants to admit it (including me), but this country was built on commercial success. Now following your blog, btw. Would love it if you'd take a peek at mine and perhaps follow?


  33. I see marketing and commercialization as two different things (but I know you were working with the "C" word today!) Marketing is so important, especially for those of us who need to market ourselves on a very small budget. I liked your post - thanks for sharing! Care to visit my blog?

  34. I'm not sure why commercialization gets such a bad rap with so many people. Probably because so much has been done poorly. Those in business have a pretty good grasp on the concept. Some in the arts feel that it is below them. I just accept it as a means to an end.


  35. I have visited a couple of blogs that appear to be using the A to Z as a opportunity for commercialization. Well it looks that way to me, and that seems a shame.

    Life is not all hard sell

  36. Commercialization, whether good or bad, works. I would love my stuff to go commercial. Having said that, if it does, I won't mind at all if people tune them out...because others won't!! I love to help people but, let's get real, I want to SELL my books.
    Rhia at Five Minute Piece for Inspiration (around #871 at A to Z Challenge)

  37. I believe it is something that "has to be," unfortunately there are too many abusers.

  38. You have to pay the admission to ride the ride! This was very insightful.

  39. Without commercialization there is no money made. It is what makes the economy go round. It's not a bad work or activity. It is not selling out. It is industry. It will not go away.

  40. You're so right but sometimes it's difficult to push the product when the product is you. If feels like bragging.

  41. Hi Arlee! Great post. Really gets a person thinking. As a writer, you not only have to sell your book but you have to sell yourself. I think that can be hard for a lot of people. But if you hope to make a living as a writer, it has to be done.
    : )


  42. Good advice. I'm trying to become more business minded now. We'll see how it goes.

  43. Commercialization?A bad thing?
    Well let's " TOSS IT OUT".
    NYONDO .
    TOMDO .
    MPLEO .

  44. I completely agree, Arlee. The world is too large for "word of mouth" advertising. That may help once something catches on, but until then, the producer of art or product hoping to be noticed is going to be disappointed, I think. Self-promotion, paid advertising and any form of available commercialism is the only way. I think marketing oneself is hard for many artists. And it may be the quantity that is missing in many a potentially successful venture. Good conversation! Debra

  45. I can't tell you how many times I have heard someone say, "My art has intrinsic value. I shouldn't have to put a price on it." To which I reply, "Fine, give your art away, but sell the time and materials that went into making it or you won't be paying the rent."

  46. Really enjoying your theme for Blogging Az to Z. Very educational!

  47. Fabulous post. Really made me think. Visiting from the A to Z Challenge...following too!

  48. forgot to give you my link

  49. It's hard to maintain a level of engagement and entertainment and realness when the ultimate goal it to sell something, especially on social media where people can spot it. It's a thin line to tread.

    Jamie Gibbs
    Fellow A-Z Buddy
    Mithril Wisdom

  50. Too true. Commercialization is inevitable at some level.
    - Maurice Mitchell
    The Geek Twins
    Film Sketchr

  51. I have really been enjoying your blog posts, as well as the A to Z challenge! I can't wait to read and write more.


    visiting from the A to Z challenge

  52. Your reaching a broad audience here, Lee! Reads and sounds like a book that would sell!

    I'm paying attention!



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