MUSICIANS: Brand Your Music

Blog : May 21st, 2011

One of the things that an artist or band hears a lot these days is the need to promote “your brand” in order to get ahead in the music era that we all now live in. That’s all well and good, but it’s hard to promote your brand unless you’re 100% sure of what a brand is. So what exactly is a brand?

A brand can be described as a promise of quality and consistency. No matter where in the world you go for a KFC meal, you know what to expect. No matter what product you purchase from Apple, you can expect sleek high-tech design and an easy to understand user interface. Brand management is protecting the image of the brand and carefully selecting how to best exploit it.

For an artist, that means a consistency of persona, and usually a consistency of sound. Regardless of what genre of music the artist delves into, the feel is the same and you can tell it’s the artist at first listen. Madonna has changed directions many times during her career but her brand has been consistent. Her persona remained the same even as she changed to and from the “Material Girl.” The Beatles tried a wide variety of directions but you never once questioned who you were listening to. It was always fresh and exciting, but distinctly them.

How do you determine what your brand is? It’s easier said than done.

In order for an artist to recognize and successfully promote their brand, they must have a great sense of self-knowing. You must know who you are, where you came from, and where you’re going. You must know what you like and don’t like, and what you stand for and why. And you must have an inherent feel for your sound and what works for you.

Your brand may be as much about your image as your music, although this sometimes happens by accident rather than design.  And that differentiates a superstar from a star, and a star from some who wants it really badly but never seems to get that big break. Recognizing your brand is an elementary but vital step to a successful career.




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