Online Branding for Musicians How to – Why Branding Your Band Is Essential

Before I begin writing this article, I’d like to say that most artists and musicians are sometimes intimidated with the word BRAND. A lot, or even most, have no idea what it means or what it is, and most importantly how crucial it can be to setting themself apart from all of the thousands of other acts out there; and being the band that ultimately achieves success.

First, let me point out that building your digital brand is not as complicated as you might think. As a matter of fact, it’s probably one of the easiest and least expensive forms of marketing your music, and your band. As I indicated, I am going to lay this out – step-by-step so that it is very easy to follow and implement. So, let’s get into it a little:

YOUR LOGO:

This is probably the simplest form of your brand. Every act should have a logo that in some way or another represents who you are. It should be simple and easy to understand. But you must have one. Don’t rush it – do many different ideas and samples until you pick the final version. Collaborate with band-members, fans, and friends for different ideas. Six heads are better than one.

YOUR STORY:

Remember, you essentially want your digital brand to tell the story of who you are. Focus on details that describe your image and likeness, your on-stage consistent look, and a consistent look and feel for your websites and social media. Once you devise your branded image, exploit it everywhere. When fans move from website to website, or see you perform, your brand must be consistent. Everywhere people look for you, they must be able to absolutely know it’s you – simply by seeing your consistent logo, brand, and image. It must be memorable!!

CONSTRUCT A COMMUNITY OF FOLLOWERS:

Personalize your fan engagement experiences. Build trust and affection in your close personal community. Engage as often as possible. Possibly use brand-infused giveaways as a way to increase your follower’s cooperation.

Use Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to constantly spread your brand and expose it to as many followers as possible. By all means, shoot professional videos. Video will enhance your brand and give your fans a closer look at what you’re all about and become closer to you.

OVERSHADOW YOUR COMPETITION:

Dominate your particular music market by being distinctive in every aspect of your digital and traditional marketing efforts. Some examples are your official website, your social media sites and posts, new CD releases and especially in your merchandise. Your merch must be distinctive and express your image and brand in its designs. Along with your logo, merch designs should also reflect your band’s character and its overall story. The designs should be original and trendy. If they’re truly cool designs, people will buy them even if it had nothing to do with your band; hence, more collateral exposure for your brand.

PUBLICITY & MUSIC MEDIA RELATIONS:

Exploit your brand in the news media, interviews, radio, and in music review blogs. Getting coverage in any of the media outlets will create serious attention and awareness for your brand, and further enhance it. This type of outreach is better handled by a seasoned music publicist. It takes a great deal of time, expertise, and an accumulation of high profile media contacts. It’s extremely difficult for the average artist to be taken seriously by media outlets. A professional music publicist, who is trusted by the media, may cost you a few bucks, but it’s worth every penny.

SO, IN SUMMARY:

Remember, don’t get too intense or complicated. And most importantly, don’t get frustrated. Take your time – do it right and keep it simple. Don’t forget to work with all of your band-members, fans, friends and followers when it comes to establishing your logo, story, image, and designs. Six heads are better than one. Take a look at the extremely popular acts that you admire – see how they approach branding. You may want to consider emulating some of their ideas.

Branding is serious business. It’s not something to be ignored. It’s the visual representation of you as an artist. Just have fun, and do it!

Artist Branding in the Music Business

Music branding has become more and more popular as a topic amongst not only the hierarchy of the music industry but the average artist and independent companies. Artists are slowly beginning to realise the power of their own name and how they can generate not only another revenue stream, but an even more significant financial return that dwarfs the return from their music career.

One of the most significant markers was laid down not in the music industry but in sports. When Michael Jordan the basketball legend achieved notoriety when he signed an extremely lucrative deal with Nike to produce the Air Jordan range, the table was set and has continued in sports with many sportsmen including David Beckham and Tiger Woods.

The deal with Michael Jordan was not the first time various industries recognised the power of performers be it sportsmen, actors or musicians. Run DMC the famous Hip Hop legends after recording and releasing the hit “My Adidas” was approached by the sport wear giants when sales of the brand increased due to the songs popularity.

Some would argue even more significant than these cases are the cases of minor celebrities such as the late Jade Goody (Channel 4’s Big Brother) have shown you need not have achieved a significant success in any field to find success with selling your brand and being rewarded financially. Jade achieved significant financial rewards with her perfume line which grossed her a seven figure sum.

So what is a brand?

Whenever I speak to musicians and mention branding they always start to speak about logos and image, which has a place in branding but it is not what branding actually is. Let’s clear up the logo issue first. A logo is the visual identification of a brand.

Again, so what is a brand?

A quote from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos states “a brand is what people say about you when you leave the room”. I think many would agree that Amazon is a well known and successful brand. But how do you build a successful brand? For me the key ingredient of a brand is trust! Now if you notice trust does not mean you have to behave well and do everything by the book, as our post image we chose the Rolling stone logo which has become a brand that represents good rock and roll music, but was formerly identified with misbehaviour and rebellion.

Others in branding state that a brand is a promise of an experience as most women would get from a Herbal Essence ad is the promise of a sensual experience when washing their hair. One of the most successful examples of this promise is the Heinz food brand. When most shoppers who are not skint go to their local superstore if they are buying beans a large percentage for a long period of time would pick up the Heinz branded tin because it was branded as a higher quality product and it was so effectively marketed people did not mind paying more for the experience. That is what a well marketed brand will allow you to do.

What is your brand?

The music business is the king of the personal brand because if you did not have a good personal brand your success would be short lived. When developing your brand you need to know your brand values, what do you stand for? What do you want people to say about you? What are you promising? Are you guaranteeing a good time?Are you the rebel? Do you intend to enlighten the world? Or are you the sex kitten guaranteed to titilate and arouse? Work out your brand values and you will be well on your way to developing your brand.

Trust is never instant and neither is a brand it needs to be built over time and you need to live up to your brand values, your promise, if you do not, you will not have a strong brand therefore will not be deemed trustworthy or dependable to deliver the experience you say.

There is more to developing your brand but this is a brief overview and an invitation to you who are interested to research and start to develop that brand because if developed effectively will expand beyond your music to different areas as our earlier examples have shown.