Developing your brand identity is crucial for being seen and noticed as an artist. Whether you are developing brand partnerships or promoting a new album, artists need to have a clear understanding of their brand identity. However, having a brand identity is something that many artists that are starting out currently deal with. To be clear, brand identity is how a business or artist presents itself to and wants to be perceived by, its consumers.
It’s the way an artist chooses its name, designs its logo, uses colors, shapes and other visual elements in its products and promotions, all with the goal of cultivating a certain image in the audience’s minds. Brand image is the actual result of these efforts, successful or unsuccessful. It is more important than ever, that an artist is able to contextualize its brand identity with the people he is working with in order to inspire everyone to take action and have success.
How do you develop your Brand Identity?
Social media has given us the opportunity to share the world through our eyes and inspire the masses with a tap on our screen. Since everyone is building their own personal brand, it’s important for artists, and entrepreneurs to rise above everyone else.
However, since everyone has the same opportunities and resources, it has become more and more important to distinguish yourself from the competition. An interesting article about how to develop your brand as an independent musician is “The Power of Co-Branding partnerships for Independent Musicians”
Therefore, having your artist brand is just equally as important to develop as your music. When thinking about your artist brand, I found that looking it through the lens of Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why.” is a great way to conceptualize how you can develop a great brand identity.
Allways ask yourself why
Most artists talk about WHAT they do. “We make rock music”. Soxme artists talk about the HOW. What was the process they use that sets them apart. Very few artists talk about their WHY. What is the reason the music exists in the first place.
“When we start with WHY in everything that we do, we inspire action in a way that WHAT doesn’t. That’s because WHY engages our emotions, while WHAT engages our logical brain.”
This concept of Simon Sinek is crucial for thinking like a successful brand. Once you get the concept of WHAT, WHEN AND WHY, you can apply it to your career as an artist. Above all, you have to talk about your story. What is your press release going to say for your next single or album? Are you advocating about climate change? Are you getting over a tragedy? Contextualizing WHY people should listen to your music will automatically give people a reason to go to your concerts or stream your song.
How can artists apply this?
If we compare these two statement examples in music:
“We’re releasing our new Album! Click the link in our bio!” (the WHAT)
“In everything we did to create this album, we believed in challenging our deepest emotions and desires and in thinking differently. We did this by implementing soulful and melancholic lyrics to our usual Folk sound, but now blending it with electronic soundscapes and synthesizers. We just happened to make an Album we are incredibly proud of” Click the link in our Bio!”
(the WHY and HOW)
The first response feels safer, but it’s also pretty stiff and boring. The second one is inspiring; This is the way you should think about your art, your songs, your image, and everything you do in your career. You will notice that when you lead with WHY, your burden of promotion will shift from the brand to the customer.
Applying this to your network of musicians and the people you work with is a great start in making them want to work with you. Start approaching people you would like to alongside with that mindset and purpose. A good way to do this is by joining Stereotheque to connect with musicians and industry professionals.
A small shift in mindset can get you to do a big step forward in your career. Everything you do has to go through asking yourself WHY. This will influence others to get inspired and listen to your music with a purpose. Over time, you will gain valuable followers and supporters. Be patient.