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Music Branding Guide

What is Music Branding?

This guide will help you build your understanding of musician branding. Who are some of the most iconic artists right now? Drake, Kanye West, and Travis Scott are just a few big names in the music industry today. What do all of these artists have in common? A strong brand identity.

Branding is a combination of two things. All the elements you portray to your fans and customers. As well as the experience your fans and customers have, which helps them identify with you and your story. These two components allow your audience to develop a collective idea of who you are and what you do.

Your goal as an artist may not be to become a cultural icon like Kanye West. Maybe at this stage in your career, you are building a fanbase and following on social media. Perhaps you want to own a recording studio or become a producer like Dr. Dre. Your brand image can be whatever you want to make it. Regardless what your end goal, the process to develop a strong artist brand remain the same.

Travis Scott & McDonalds

McDonald’s first celebrity named meal since 1992 was a collaboration with Travis Scott. This is an excellent example of an musicians using his/her branding to grow. Next month they will feature a meal for Saweetie.

Music Branding - Audio & Visual Elements

The best part about developing your musician brand identity is that it can be unique. Most importantly, your aesthetic choices and the story that you tell should align with who you are. There is no secret sauce to becoming an iconic brand, but these are the key elements that bring your brand to life:

Logo

All Artists should have a logo to brand themselves. Your logo should have the right style to give the message of you and your artwork. Being a professional musician is just like owning a business. It is vital to give the public something to remember. Here are a couple of logos from iconic companies in today's world:

Musician Branding Logo Example Billie Eilish
Musician Branding Logo Example Beats By Dre
Musician Branding Logo Example Yeezy

Color Scheme

Colors help guide your audience's emotional response. For example, blue and other cool colors are often used in bedrooms to help people relax before they fall asleep. The corporate giant McDonald's uses Red and Yellow in their brand. Musicians also use consistent colors to help portray their brand. For example, Nicki Minaj uses Pink.

Musician Branding Guide with Photo of a Color Palette

Social Presence

If you're a rapper or singer, your lyrics will be your first line of communication with your audience. What you say and do on social media also gives your fans an idea of who you are. Your musician branding on social media has to be consistent with the rest of your brand image.

Style

Your clothing, photography style, and how you look are essential. For example, wearing a giant mouse head like Deadmau5 helped him grow his artist brand. The Weeknd wears suits and has had fake plastic surgery to resonate with his fans. Doja Cat is very thematic and wears all sorts of costumes to grab attention.

Musician Branding Guide with Photo of Deadmau5

Sound

As a musician, the sounds you create may be the single most important element in defining your brand. The genre of music you make and the types of instruments you use will help determine your audience. To have a successful artist brand, you need to be unique to stand out.

Music Branding - Experience

As technology improves, the way audiences experience music continues to adapt. Virtual concerts like Lil Nas X's collaboration with the game Roblox give artists new ways to reach their fans. An album release party in the Mercedes Benz stadium is drastically different from a jazz pianist's performance in a fine dining restaurant. However, both types of performances help define the artists' brand and how their followers experience them.

Here is a list of a few channels that consumers experience your brand:

An excellent example of strong musician branding is Rihanna. She created the beauty/clothing company Fenti. Although people may not think of clothing when they hear her name, Anytime someone sees her Fenti products or hears the Fenti name, they immediately associate it with Rihanna.

Musician Branding Guide with Photo of Rihanna and Fenty
Musician Branding Guide with Photo of Rihanna and Fenty

Now you are aware of the elements involved in creating a solid artist brand. Start building your brand with the resources you have. It will take a long time to tackle these elements, but they are all fundamental in growing your brand.

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