Creating Your Artist Brand
Updated: Apr 9, 2021
You've heard it before, you have to have a brand, But what does that mean? It's simple. Your brand is your identity. Your fans and listeners want to know about your journey and your story as an artist, as consumers we grasp on to things we can relate to. Music is a story, personal to each individual, but the way its captured is down to you. When we say to our artists, what is your brand? They can sometimes automatically think this is just visual, but your brand is so much more than that. It shows your beliefs, goals, aspirations and who you are as an individual. Your image is the easiest way to start creating your brand. Maybe you have a signature pattern or hairstyle that makes you unique. Take Amy Winehouse for example, her 'Brand' was the messy beehive, extended eyeliner, you could tell exactly who she was from a sillouhette. It could be that you use the same colour on every social media post or album artwork. As long as you are consistent in showing visually what your brand is people will start to pick up on this and start to understand you as an artist. You can really project your image and identify on social media, live performances and your day to day life.
Another way you can build your brand is by allowing others to know what you stand for, your beliefs, charity work, religion etc. Are you campaigning for things such as mental health, equality in the music industry? Showing people this through your social media can give you another audience and traffic source. You HAVE to stay consistent with this though, so don't advocate for something that you're only going to put half your time and effort into because it can cause more damage to your reputation if you are not showing your are actively involved and passionate about the cause. Similarly your brand could be your personality. Look at Lewis Capaldi, yes people know him for his music but he also known for being funny and engaging and people really buy into that. You can have the best music, best PR company and label working for you, but if you're not a nice person you will only have temporary success.
Now you have understood your brand for your social media, you want to start looking at carrying that through to your live setting. Think about how you want your fans to feel when they watch you live. You can do this is so many different ways. If you have made your brand a specific colour, use this as your backdrops, or lighting schemes. Another way you can do this is by building a set. To make your fans feel relaxed and more connected to you, you could dress your stage as a living room using different colour shades that represent you. Maybe you change this for each tour, to keep it fun and show that you are ever-growing as an artist and as you learn more and develop so does the way you express this. Your stage clothes also play a huge part here, this where you can ensure your identity really shines through. Take Billie Eilish for example, she will only wear baggy outfits because she does not want to be sexualised or objectified and this branches out to her beliefs and what she stands for as an individual. Lastly, the way you interact with your audience during the show is what it is all about. You want to be showing them how appreciated they are, teaching them your morals, learning from them but also allowing them to have a safe space to have fun.
Your brand is something that is unique to you. Remember, you might not get it right straight away, but as long as you are always being true to yourself, who you are will shine through. Be authentic, be real and be consistent.