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Artist Branding Pt 2 - Why Do You Need Artist Branding?

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Hey everyone, it's Joseph here to continue our series on artist branding! We began this series by discussing what artist branding is... so now we're going to dive deeper into why it matters.

Consider this: music isn't just an auditory experience, it's an emotional journey.

When listeners connect with a musician's brand, they feel a deeper connection with the music itself. Artist branding allows musicians to craft a captivating narrative that draws their audience into a world where the their is more than just sound waves. And in a crowded market where countless musicians are vying for attention, artist branding becomes a crucial, if not the crucial differentiating factor. Here are three angles to look at the value of artist branding from.

1. Your visual identity

The foremost aspect of artist branding is creating a memorable identity. A strong visual identity can make a significant impact, so getting this part right matters quite a lot.

The early days of rock music give us plenty of examples - think about iconic album covers like Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon or David Bowie's Aladdin Sane. These visuals not only represent the music, but symbolise the emotions associated with it, as well as instantly identifying the artist.

By developing a consistent visual language across album artwork, promotional materials, and social media presence, musicians can create an instantly recognisable brand that leaves a lasting impression on their audience. And in today's visual-oriented society, it matters more than ever!

Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and Davie Bowie's Aladdine Sane album covers
Instantly recognisable album covers: Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, and David Bowie's Aladdin Sane albums

2. Your artistic persona

Your artistic persona and stage presence are vital components of your branding. How you present yourself on stage and in interviews, how you personally express your style, and how you interact with fans all matter, because they contribute to your overall brand identity.

A great example of this is Freddie Mercury's electrifying stage presence and flamboyant style, which became synonymous with Queen's brand. Another example from pop music history is Madonna - whose provocative persona and sometimes shocking style connected perfectly with her musical concepts.

By thinking about how your persona comes across publicly, and shaping it more effectively, you can create a connection with your audience that goes far beyond the music - and that will be a massive help in forging a loyal and dedicated fan base.

3. Your direct audience interactions

Since artist branding gives you the chance to connect with your audience on a deeper level than you would just through your music alone, you should maximise the value you get from this by understanding them in more depth. Look into your target audience's demographics, interests, and preferences, so you can tailor your brand messaging to resonate with your fans even more deeply.

This is especially relevant to the way you use social media. It’s easier now than ever to use social media channels to share behind-the-scenes moments, talk directly to your followers, and provide exclusive content.

To foster a sense of community around your music, and strengthen the bond between you and your fans, show your fans who you are and what you’re all about. This is what they want!

Putting it all together

To sum up, I encourage you to sit down and think about how you can apply all three of the above angles of artist branding to your career. Once you have some ideas, spend time carefully and deliberately weaving them together - crafting your brand to set yourself apart from all the other artists out there, and to make your fans feel involved in your musical journey, instead of being bystanders.

One more thing - aside from connecting strongly with fans, having a strong artist brand can also open the doors to exciting opportunities for collaboration and partnerships. Companies and brands often look for musicians whose values align with theirs, and the collaborations that follow will help boost the artist's credibility as well as reach new people. Sometimes these brand partnerships offer unique promotional opportunities, sponsorships, and access to resources that can propel a musician's career to new heights.

And remember - effective artist branding isn't just a nice optional extra, it's a necessity in the modern music business if you want to maximise your success. It will help you to stand out in the saturated market, and to find and connect with your audience on a much deeper level than what you can do with your music alone. This will turn those listeners into super fans who will be there every step of the way supporting you.

Now go have fun honing your artist branding!


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