How a musician or band go about developing a brand strategy starts with understanding the kind of relationship the audience wants. From this springs a cohesive and consistent message stating the artist’s values, inspiration and style. It’s how you would want your fans to describe one of your songs or performances to their friends.
The message is the brand and it’s what the pros use in their brand strategy to make sure they are heard across all media. Once these artists knew who they wanted to be to their own audiences, they embraced the image and made it the core of everything they posted, wrote and performed.
Here’s how three unlikely stars harnessed the power how they used developing a brand strategy to new heights of success.
Use Your Obsession
Jack White has entertained us since the 90s with his retro stadium-rock guitar riffs and uniform of black jeans, t-shirts and chin length bobbed hair. Even as his sound evolves with each new band and album, we know to expect his raw emotion and fearless approach to hard rock. Follow him on Twitter and you’ll find an artist who never chooses his words carefully or acts as a political pundit. He’s a musician’s musician and that is the bottom line of his brand strategy. You want anything else, you’re free to leave his space. But with his obsession to doing things right, even to the point of hand-mixing tracks at his own Third Man label, headquartered in Nashville, he shows his love for his fans and his art. His anti-stardom is what makes him brilliant.
Use Your Individuality
The latest star in the pop universe using brand strategy to rocket above the noise of the internet, is an EDM producer and DJ, who wouldn’t even show his face until recently. Marshmello’s early brand strategy had him uploading his music for free on Soundcloud and wearing a marshmallow mask. In a genre where that’s not so unusual, it was pairing his catchy, positive sound with marketing that created the buzz. EDM fans had fun on social media comparing tattoos and body parts and speculating on Marshmello’s true identity. The industry figured his secret out quickly. By then, BMI songwriter, Chris Comstock, had already established his life-affirming, happy connection with his listeners.
Use Your Talent
If you don’t know who Desmond Child is, you’ve heard his songs. He is the lyricist behind the hits of Bon Jovi, Cher, Ricky Martin and many others. The New York Times declared him, “one of the most successful songwriters of the last 30 years.” He’s a Grammy Award winner and is slated to receive the ASCAP Founders Award, in LA, April 24. How does a songwriter maintain his brand from behind the scenes, across genres and over the decades? Child’s brand is his ability to deliver songs that speak to our inner desires of how we want to live and love. He is also a true friend and mentor to the famous faces for whom he writes. Artists from Steven Tyler to Gene Simmons cannot say enough about Child’s talent and friendship.
White, Marshmello and Child are musical powerhouses who know how to go about developing a brand strategy to reach people, whether that audience seeks a throwback to raw instrumentation and vintage studio mixes, an electronic groove produced by a friendly marshmallow or a top 40 hit where everyone sings along with the words performed by beloved, established voices.
The most successful way of developing a brand strategy uses what makes you unique and unforgettable to create an artistic statement you can share with your audience one delicious bite at a time.