Here’s the thing. I have worked pretty hard at creating something I could call my own brand for the past year and a half. It is still very much a work in progress, and in a way I am sure it always will be. But there are few defining things that I decided to include from the get go, and kind of frame structure that I am pretty proud of right now. Now before those of you who think the business side of the music is all just bullcrap run away, let me just say this. The “brand” is not something I decided to copy from some other successful artist, or something I read in a marketing book. I talked about the branding for musicians before and you can read about it HERE. My personal branding was very much a case of taking a good look at my self, figuring out who I am, what am I good at, what defines me, and taking these qualities and emphasising them, or kind of packaging them.
My sound, as a musician and singer is also very much a part of my brand. My songwriting is part of my brand, my blog posts, coffee quotes, the music I recommend… So you see, my brand is very much who I am. During the week I actually had to have a good think about this, and it turns out that at this stage I am quite protective over my brand. And I should be.
Big corporations spend crazy amounts of money to protect their brand. In some cases the development of that brand cost them as much as the development of their products. Often that brand is the reason the consumer chooses them over the competitors. And if you for a second think this does not apply to music business, you are fooling your self. Music business has some very powerful brands. Actually as a DIY example, some of the Heavy metal and punk bands are great examples of visual brands. They have their own logos, that they use on all of their products and as a backdrop at the live shows. These are very powerful aids to build your own tribe. Same with some electronic music acts. And if you want to look at some bigger major label acts, think of the Rollings Stones lip and tongue logo, AC/DC logo with the lightning strike, Johnny Cash always waring black… All examples of well thought out branding.
So get on thinking about your own brand. Define it as you go along and build your business in music around it. And yes, you need to be protective over it. After all, it is who you are, who you have become and most of all, one of the biggest reasons why you your fans like you.
The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE