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Want Those Racks on Racks? Better Get to BrandingPosted by Andrew Lewis on 08/08/12 | Filed under Opinion, Your Favorite Rapper Is Poor
Branding, Branding, Branding! What is it exactly? Why is it important? and what does branding have to do with the Music Industry?
In a recent article written by Joe Satran over at the Huffingtion Post; Joe spoke about how music is still a lucrative industry in terms of being an artist, but only with the right brand.
Joe mentioned that the Future of Music Coalition found that musicians made an average of about $34,000 off their music in America before touring and recording expenses are deducted. Yes, you're right record sales are still down, North American sales fell roughly 36% between 2007-2011 while digital downloads are no longer what they use to be either, but even with that said many artists and musicians are still making a killing off of their brand!
Okay, think Pepsi, Apple, Mercedes; not to sound like the Miller-Gold Agency in the episode of Entourage where Ari is trying to keep Vince from firing him as his agent; but alone those are some of the biggest brands in the entertainment world! A brand is defined as a "name, term, sign, symbol or design or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and differentiate them from those of other sellers". A strong brand isn't about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but to getting your target market to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem.
A strong brand delivers its message clearly, confirms its credibility, connects its prospects emotional, motivates the buyer and solidifies the users loyalty; A good brand will understand that it needs to reside in the hearts and minds of its audience, period!
When branding yourself as an artist you must understand that everything you do, good or bad effects your brand! That means professionalism is crucial when engaging fans, media and/or industry personnel. If you act like a professional you will be treated as a professional, simple as that.
So with that said, I am going to give you three major tips on how to brand yourself as a musical brand.
1. Singularity - Mission Statement
You as a musician or band need to have singularity or a mission statement that reflects your music and why you are pursuing a career in music, simply put "Why are you here?". If done correctly doing so will immediately engage the listener to hear what you have to say. For example, Lil Wayne - a veteran in the game with over 9 solo studio albums made it his "Mission" to be "The Best Rapper Alive". Those are big words that caught my attention as well as many others who perhaps brushed him off. You need 'A Particularity or odd trait" that defines why you are distinct from the others. Not only saying you are different but giving us a reason to believe you are different.
Every strong and successful brand knows that they must be consistent with quality. Brand consistency is the way a business communicates its message without detracting or wandering from its core brand proposition/ or Singularity. Quality must be your main focus when dealing with consistency, as a musician you do not want to be labeled as an artist who delivers a classic debut album followed by 2 mediocre mix tapes and a sub-par sophomore album. If your mission statement is to be the best, you need to deliver the best all around product. As a new artist that means everything from you Facebook photos to the merchandise that you sell needs to be presented and created with Quality.
Take Apple, since there inception their brands motto was to supply advanced, quality, great looking, high performing computers. This message has never changed although! the way they have communicated this over the years has, they have not only kept up with modern design standards now they are setting the design standards. This has lead to customer loyalty, and that is something you want!
Brand Equity is a phrase used to describe the value of a well known brand, based on the idea that customers believe that a product with a well known name ( Lil Wayne) is better than a product with a lesser known name ( MC John from down the street ). Even though MC John may be a better artist than Lil Wayne the majority of the public may disagree for a couple reasons.
• Financial Outcomes - "Lil Wayne has more money than him" I know you have heard this statement in one way or another, whether it is true or not brands who have the ability to produce more income are seen as the better brand. Example Sony televisions vs Toshiba televisions, which would you rather have? Sony right, because of the name and reputation you believe it will be the better product.
• Brand Extension - means using the name of a well developed product and uses it in a different category, think of it as a spin-off! For example if you haven't seen the "Dark Knight Rises" then you'll probably have to skip this part; while this film being the conclusion to the Batman trilogy it introduces Robin towards the end and possibly sets up for a remake of the early Batman & Robin film, this is a spin off of the Dark Knight Series. To use a musical analogy think of Jay-z and the 40/40 club or Diddy and Ciroc. These are examples of brand extensions.
Remember that a strong brand delivers its message clearly, confirms its credibility, connects its prospects emotional, motivates the buyer and solidifies the users loyalty! Doing so will ensure that you can still make a living as a musician.
These are only a few tips on how to successfully brand your music, for a full break-down and strategic plan to turn your music into a brand contact feel free to schedule a consultation with MyMusicExec.com today! Become a smarter artist!
See Also: Is Cash Money Records Denying Drake His Cash Money? This New Lawsuit Says So