We have all heard it…
“You guys are definitely going to make it”
“You’ve got something special”
“Your music is so original”
So after years of lugging your instruments around the country, playing show after show for hardly any reward and a crowd which thins out when its too far for your friends to make it, its understandable to think to yourself “Why haven’t I/we made it?”.
From experience of being in bands which have been on the cusp of something really great it became quite clear that in the music industry there is something that most musicians forget or don’t quite understand (and rightly so as music creation should be the prime focus for any up and coming artists).
Your music is a BRAND… and imagery and branding matters.
What is a Brand?
A brand is a set of marketing and communication methods that help to distinguish a company from competitors and create a lasting impression in the minds of customers.
In a market where musicians and labels are fighting to be heard, you need to create content that makes your music stand out from the crowd.
To put it into perspective, your band decides its time to send that demo you’ve spent time, money and effort recording in a top notch studio over to the big industry execs. You have asked your mate Steve to craft you a logo in Microsoft Paint and have slapped it onto a low resolution image you found on google images and printed it using your Mom’s printer before you slide it into a plastic cd case you picked up from Tesco’s a week earlier (We’ve all done it).
Your EP arrives at the offices and gets put into a pile of 350 other demos that have been received over the past couple of days.
On average your music will get 20 seconds before its thrown into the rejection pile. SO FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER!
Unfortunately, in the digital age we live in it’s not all about the music – you need to have the “Look”.
What Can You Do to Help Your Imagery and Branding?
- Figure out your target demographic
- Get a Logo professionally designed (either by a friend or a music centric design agency).
- Decide on a colour palette and typographical style to use in all collateral. Consistency is Key.
- Make sure your social media is consistent, keep the imagery the same on all platforms.
- Don’t scrimp on getting your CD artwork created, this is one of the only things that is a physical representation of your music. So make sure you are super happy with the artwork and the print.
- If you are ready to submit your music to agencies, labels, publishers etc then get a professionally designed press pack! You will no doubt stand out from the 100’s of CV like word documents that they receive, standing you in good stead for your music to spend a little bit more time in the cd player…
- Buy a domain and GET A PERSONALISED EMAIL ADDRESS! There is nothing worse than receiving an email from firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Get professional photos taken.
- Finally, I know I keep banging on about it but CONSISTENCY IS KEY!
Written by Alex and Adam from music industry design company, Archetype.
Alex and Adam are musicians themselves, having spent 10 years in a band together. They now focus on delivering high quality branding to musicians, labels, management agencies and other companies/people in the music industry. From their experience as a band, they realised just how important imagery and branding is to an artist’s success. Both of them want to pass on some wise words of advice!