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This post was originally published on Megaphone Agency. Author Jordan Gates thought it might be worth sharing with the community here. I definitely look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments.
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With that out of the way, here’s Jordan to share about the importance of branding.
How you market yourself plays a significant role in achieving success in the music industry. Part of that comes from distributing your music and getting it into the ears of the right listeners.
When it gets there though, it is crucial to make a great impression on your listeners and to turn them into lifelong fans. Creating a powerful brand will help you achieve this.
Your band is the music making machine that enables your career, and your brand is the face of your music that people will learn to know and love.
What is a Brand?
A brand is much more than just a name or a logo. It encompasses the entire identity of your group, including how you portray yourself to the world and how the world perceives you. Every move you make can have an affect on your brand. If done right, your brand can be a powerful and invaluable asset that holds deep meaning for your fans and others who interact with it.
Think of your fans as a “brand community”, meaning a group of people with shared values and interests. The thing that unites all of your fans is their admiration of your music and what it stands for.
There are many great examples of this in music. Consider The Grateful Dead. They have built a following of some of the most loyal fans ever. There is even a name for them – Deadheads! These fans feel connected to the band because of the distinctive culture they share and the music that is a part of their lives forever. Your brand can have the power to reach people globally, and it can have lasting value that survives throughout time.
Some of the best brands in music have lived on long after the band has broken up. Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles all remain household names to this day. These brands still hold tremendous value and bring in tons of money on their music and merchandise even though the bands no longer exist. There are many young fans of Led Zeppelin who have never been to a Led Zeppelin concert and were not even alive when the band was making music. That is powerful stuff!
Why Do You Need a Brand?
Establishing your own brand will give you and your followers a common bond and a sense of identity. In practical terms, this will allow you to market yourself better and ultimately sell more music, tickets, and t-shirts.
Your brand will help you position yourself in such a way to reach the people who care most about what you are doing and build loyalty among your fans. Your brand will also give you the ability to reach a far wider audience than you could ever physically play to, especially in today’s digital age. A strong brand and marketing plan can give you a voice all over the world.
A brand is an intangible concept, but it can create some real tangible value for you if done well. In business, brand equity is the reason you pay a lot more for certain products over the generic equivalent. The same idea holds true in the music business where fans are willing to pay a lot more for tickets to see an artist they love and identify with.
It is definitely worth putting some thought into who you are as a band and how you want people to perceive you. Building a solid brand is something that will take time and can be difficult when you are first starting out, but it will pay off big time in the grand scheme of things.
Pro Tip: Once you have established your brand, consider filing for a registered trademark on your name and logo with the USPTO. This will secure your intellectual property and give you legal authority over anyone that tries to imitate or rip off your brand.
A brand is easier to craft than you might think. Just look at other bands who play your style of music, specifically those that have achieved a degree of popularity.
What are they doing? What are they wearing? What does their logo look like? Who do they appeal to?
You don’t need to copy their brand verbatim, but you also don’t need to reinvent the wheel. If it’s working for others, it can work for you too!