Branding Your Band – Yes…It’s a Business Thing

Written by Michael Eastwood Founder & CEO of Mastermind Promotion

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Branding Your Band

Mention words like ‘business’ and ‘branding’ to many musicians and you may well be responded to with a growl and a frown. There are so many musicians for whom the idea of even considering the business side of things or branding represents the exact opposite of their ideals. Nevertheless, the simple truth of the matter is that in order for a band to be successful, it needs to create and develop its own brand. Not only this, but success as a band also means accepting that what you have created is indeed a business – your fans being your investors.

But what’s important to remember is that branding and business considerations when it comes to music have got absolutely nothing to do with selling out. Instead, it’s simply about honing and enhancing, in order to ensure the band has a maximum impact and appeal for those you are looking to appeal to. And if you’re not looking to appeal to anyone, you’re not out to succeed…hence this is all inconsequential.

Over the years, it’s become clear that there are certain things that need to be prioritised, if you are to successfully brand your band. So if you’re looking to build the strongest brand possible and stand out from the crowd as something unique, the following represent good places to start:

  1. Express yourself

Sure, it’s a cliché, but it’s also about as true as it gets. If you ever come across as a kind of band that it says what it says or does what it does on command or from a script, you’ve had it. Your personalities need to come over and there is no room for anything other than the human aspect of your band. There are already far too many fakers out there pretending to be people they really aren’t – all of whom can be sniffed out a mile away by modern music audiences. Even if you run the risk of pissing certain people off, you need to be you and nobody else.

  1. Be consistent without exception

Get things wrong when it comes to consistency and you are in trouble. Specifically, this refers to ensuring that whatever it is you establish as your primary brand is repeated and carried consistently across all channels. From the music you produce to the shows you put on to your website, merchandise, interviews and so on, consistency is of crucial importance. The reason being that if you keep shifting from one apparent persona to another, chances are nobody will believe or buy into any of them. Which is precisely why you need to think carefully about what your brand really is, rather than just winging it.

  1. Be unique

Easy to say, extremely difficult to achieve – uniqueness often tends to be the linchpin that determines success or otherwise. Which isn’t exactly difficult to understand, as why would anybody be interested in a carbon copy of something that already exists? The simple fact of the matter is that when it comes to uniqueness, you also need to be open to change. The reason being that it could turn out that your initial ideas and approach are already being done to death elsewhere. It’s not a case of changing your personalities, but when it comes to the essential hook or USP your band delivers, it needs to be yours and only yours.

  1. Consider every detail

Branding efforts need to take into account every single detail across the board, regardless of how seemingly small and significant. You really need to bear in mind the fact that when it comes to interviews, blog posts and even the way you communicate with the crowd during live performances, every word you say will be scrutinised…big time. And if you happen to steer yourself into territory that goes entirely against the brand you are looking to build, you could be in trouble.

  1. Capitalise on social media

One of the best outlets you have at your disposal these days when it comes to all aspects of branding is social media. There’s practically limitless scope when it comes to both demonstrating to the world exactly who you are and also generating discussion and engagement among your fans. Once again however, it is important to ensure that the voice, tone and everything else to do with your brand that you create via social media remains consistent at all times.

  1. Build connections with your fans

Last but not least, the most successful brands in the music industry are those that make the fans feel as if they are an integral part of it. Think of the way in which so many bands at pretty high levels consistently stand at their own merchandise tables, meet and greet sessions, hang out at the bar after the show and so on. They don’t need any more fame or money – they do this because it is the brand they have established. The key point being, it works.