As an artist, you always want to stand out from competition, be remembered and leave a lasting impression on every potential fan (including future fans) you make. In today’s music, the market is full of countless artists selling similar music. If you have ever researched on the music business, you will understand the importance of branding. The music audience today buys the brand. They choose the music or artist with the brand they are most familiar with or which has been successful in getting their attention through its communication.The role of branding in music has changed over time. It is not only used to differentiate an artist from others, but it also adds a set of personality traits to the artist and automatically positions him in the market according to what position his brand occupies in the mindset of the target audience. In this article, we are going to cover music branding as an artist, including how to create a strong artist brand.
What is branding?
According to Wikipedia, “A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising for recognition”. As an artist, branding is all about how you match your visual representation with your music. In a nutshell, branding is who you are and why you are who you are. Sounds funny? Branding is not just about what you put out there but most especially why you put it out there (and most importantly what makes it different from others of the same product line). Good branding is all about becoming known for something that you do, above any other competitor. Your brand, however, should not be focused on you. It should be focused on attracting and connecting with your customers (potential fans).
Why is branding so important?
Give an identity to your music: The main purpose of branding is to name a product, assign it attributes (logo, colors, etc.), and develop a personality that has a distinct identity. This helps transform a generic artist into someone that is easily memorable and recognizable.
Stand out from competition: It doesn’t matter what kind of music you do, or what fan base and market you are after. If you are in the music business, you’ve got some serious competition. Branding helps you create and establish ways to be different, special and unique in the eyes of your audience. And it shows your fan base why they should pay attention to your music instead of that of your competitors. This is done by creating a distinct outlook through brand identity, brand message and brand tonality. (Please do research more on these terms).
Create trust: Since branding assigns a recognizable identity to your artistic image, it increases customer’s trust in you as they can now identify who to blame or promote according to their experience with with your music.
Increase overall market value. A brand has its own value as a separate asset (called brand equity). When you successfully create a good music brand, customers will easily subscribe to it because of its value, recognition and acceptance. Brand equity is the increase in the value of a product just because a brand name is associated with it.
Attract and increase your customers (fan base): A strong artist brand attracts more fans. This is because there is usually a positive impression in the minds of the customers. This can trigger voluntary referrals through word of mouth and viral marketing, propelling your artistic image up the charts.
Boost team trust and satisfaction: When you have a renown brand as an artist, your team and any other business or music industry professionals gain more satisfaction working with you and are even more motivated to work harder. Working for a reputable brand sure gives them more recognition and better opportunities in the future.
How to create a strong artist brand
To create an effective brand, you must first define the audience you have and /or are targeting. Secondly, you need to develop your brand such that it is simple and easily recognizable. Lastly, you have to promote your brand constantly and consistently. Start by answering these questions;
“What will you offer to your consumers?”, “How will your artistic image or the music that you offer differentiate you from the competition?” and “Why should customers pay attention to your artist brand, when there are thousands of others?”
Your branding will cultivate what your consumers can expect from you, and what they will expect when they utilize your product (or music). By clearly defining who you are, your branding can then be used to influence your marketing strategies.
Start by discovering the purpose behind your brand. Why do you exist? What differentiates you? And why should people care? You’ll need this information to define your artistic brand, through slogans, taglines, voice, interaction, visuals, stories, social media and more.
Then research on competitor brands within your industry. Be aware of what they do well, and when they fail, so you can better adjust your brand identity to reach out to even more audience.
Next, determine your brand’s target audience; be specific. Your music cannot reach out to everyone. The competitive advantage when branding yourself is that you narrow your target audience focus. This ensures that your brand identity and thus music clearly reaches the intended recipient.
Create a unique brand voice. This is how you communicate with your audience and how they respond to you. Your brand voice depends on your mission, audience and market.
A brand voice could be: professional, service-oriented, friendly, technical, authoritative, conversational, informative, promotional, etc.
This is particularly important when relating to the general public, interviews, social media interaction or your overall lifestyle. Maintaining a consistent brand voice will help your brand image become recognized easily.
Create a brand logo and tagline. This is the most important step in building your artistic brand. This logo will appear on everything that relates to your music. It will become your identity and the visual recognition of your art. So be willing to invest time and money to create something exceptional. Then integrate this into every aspect of your carrier and music business. Let it be visible and reflect in everything that your audience can see, hear and read.
What you must know
With a good solid brand in place, there is no limit to how successful you and your music will become. Music branding should be one of the top priorities to focus on when you are just starting your carrier. Do not just read this article. Put everything into practice and become the next global brand everybody will be talking about.