Successful artists are defined not just by the music they release, but by their own unique image and brand. But how can new musicians develop, cultivate and market their brand?
Creating and exploiting an interesting, exciting and engaging brand and image for your musical persona doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process that could take years to develop. Or it could already be set in stone. It all depends on you.
A musician's "image" can often be a subjective concept. But to help explain it, we’ve broken the concept of music branding down into three (pretty big & important) steps: defining, building, and marketing your brand.
Defining your brand
If you’re completely lost when it comes to identifying what makes you and your music stand out, here are some key things to think about.
What or who inspires you?
What sets you apart?
What sub-cultures & genres do you belong to?
What’s your style & fashion taste?
Who would you appeal to?
Answering these questions is a big step towards defining your personal brand and image, but if you’re still unsure, just take a look around you for inspiration. Even the world’s biggest artists and bands have personal heroes who’ve inspired them on their way to stardom. Taking inspiration from someone you admire is a huge part of an artist’s journey.
Your image should originate from your own authenticity. The way in which you convey this authentic image to your fans is how you build your brand.
Building your brand
While defining your image can be a pretty ambiguous part of any music brand development, building your brand is where all the pieces come together to create real, marketable and easily-recognisable ideas, assets, graphic, performances and products.
Aside from your music itself, here are some of the main ways in which you will build and convey your brand to audiences.
Artist or band name
Live performance style
Social media presence
Brand management and consistency are important across all these mediums.
Consider some of the world’s biggest artists. You can identify them from something as simple as a font choice, color scheme, or icon because their image and brand identity is so strong it has been ingrained into our culture.
Marketing your brand
Now you’ve delved into your inspirations, developed an image that feels right, and created some killer branding – it’s time to market yourself as an artist. First, let’s identify the main marketing channels through which musicians can develop and hone their brand and image.
Your distinctive and authentic brand image should be at the heart of everything you market through these channels. It should make clear who you are, what your appeal is (or who you'll appeal to), and why people should be interested in you.
Lastly, there’s one important thing to remember…
MAKE GREAT MUSIC!
Your tracks need to be high quality and well-produced, and your live performances need to be watertight and engaging. If your music resonates with people, everything will fall into place more easily.