Many artists don’t like to think of themselves as requiring branding, believing that it is a way of commercialising themselves and selling out. However, like it or not, every single artist and band is a brand and it is important to be consistent with your branding in order to show your fans and supporters just who are you and what you do.
A career as a band or music artist is just as much about the people behind the music as it is about the tracks; one does not come without the other and a performer in the public eye will have an image that goes hand in hand with their music.
The brand of an artist goes much further than logos and merchandising; the brand of an artist is how they carry themselves in the eyes of the public and how the public then translate that into their perception; an artist who ensures that this brand is well developed will command investment from fans.
The word consistency isn’t the most exciting word in the English language, and it often comes with a misconception that you have to be boring in order to be consistent. However, this is not the case and you can be consistent with any brand image that you want to represent, no matter how garish or out there it may be. They key is to never let that image slip.
Consistency is absolutely imperative to an artist brand as it allows peers and fans to connect with you because of the authenticity of what you are portraying yourself to be; if you veer away from this brand that you have decided to pave for yourself, you are losing that connection.
Being consistent generates a level of trust in what you do and it sets a benchmark for you to follow, it is almost like your own little template that you must step up to in order to maintain your public persona. People will remember you for the public image that you use, so in order for them to keep coming back to you because of that public image that you put out there in the first place, you mustn’t let the consistency slip.
If you have chosen to be an artist who is known for being a bit out there and not scared to say what they think, you must stick to it; your fans will be dedicated to you because of this persona and the last thing that they want to see is you sitting around the fire in your living room with a cup of tea and a hob nob – this is the opposite of consistent.
On a physical level, when it comes to branding in the merchandising sense, you need to have something that is immediately identifiable as yours; chances are that you aren’t going to have your face slapped on every bit of merchandise, so if you have a logo or branded colour scheme, it needs to remain uniform across all platforms.
If you have a website, ensure that your social media outlets all merge with your website seamlessly. You may notice that when an artist releases an album with new artwork, their whole online presence will be rejigged to match the artwork. Colour schemes, logos, themes and imagery will match over every single platform in order for outlets to look homogeneous, as well as up to date. A real fundamental that is often missed is quite simply ensuring that your profile picture is the same across all platforms; it is easy to do and makes finding you easier for fans.
A fan should be able to visit your website, look at one of your CDs or go to your Twitter and be 100% certain that all of these platforms are yours; your physical branding should be clear and succinct with the gumption to show you off properly.
Whilst remaining consistent across many platforms and outlets can become samey and repetitive, it is a task that is vital in order to maintain a professional guise.