You spend months, maybe years, cultivating a unique sound. You find ways to set yourself apart from the other bands in your genre, and make your mark on the music industry. But whether you’re setting the airways alight the world over, or jamming away in local pubs and clubs; there’s more to a big-time band than their music.
Some of the biggest bands of our generation, and generations before, had more than just a unique sound. They are more than just musicians – they are a brand. Armed with a killer logo and strap line bands such as The Ramones and The Rolling Stones secured their places in infamy.
Band Branding Overtime – The Shifts and Changes in the Market
For the majority of the 20th century, the only way to make it in music was t go through a record label. They’d mould you, construct you, and project the brand that worked for them. Fast forward to the age of the Internet, and things have changed.
Independent musicians create their own labels, artists find fame through YouTube, and the record companies have been pushed aside. Bands now have much more freedom over the brand they project, but where do you start?
Here we look at some of the crucial elements of band branding, a few of the people that have got it right, and what you can do to make an impact:
1. Graphic Design
More and more bands are making a name for themselves online, before they hit the big time. And if there’s one thing everyone understands about the World Wide Web is that is it fast-paced and fickle. We need t make an impression in the first few seconds, or we fall flat on our faces.
That’s why the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Ramones would still make it. They had creative, and timeless logos. Everyone knows someone who wears t-shirts emblazoned with these logos. This just shows how effective a clever logo can be.
Getting just one person to wear you band t-shirt is a form of promotion, but that isn’t easy. There are a number of secrets to logo design, particularly when creating your signature icon:
- Typography is important – Find a unique font that represents your band and what you’re about. Make sure it is representative of your sound and your ethics, and is readable in both print and online.
- Colour coded – Some colours work together and some just don’t. Again, choose colours that work for your band, and think about the you use.
2. Branding on Social Media
Social media has taken over our lives. And as a band it is a valuable tool in your branding and marketing arsenal. You can connect with fans all over the world at the push of a button, share your music, and promote your next gigs.
But as well as being able to connect with your audience, you should also be branding your band on social media. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook are great for interaction, and every band should be on YouTube. But there’s more to the word of social than these three giants:
- MySpace is alive and kicking – Despite what you may think, MySpace is still one of the best sites for musicians to network online. Take advantage of the band pages and upload your tracks, as this is a great way to build a fan base.
- Photo Sharing Sites – Flickr and Pinterest are also great sites to build your bands’ brand. Upload images of your concerts, you in the studio, and out and about. This not only adds a human edge to your group, but encourages your fans to share their snaps. Instagram is a great app iPhone users should be using in their branding efforts.
Whichever sites you choose to focus your efforts on, keep it consistent. You need to be genuine, and project your band’s ‘voice’ in a consistent way. This will appeal to your main audience, and make sure you’re authentic and likeable. Bands that interact with their fans – no matter how big they are – are the ones who have nailed their social media branding.
3. Offline Branding
When branding your band, you shouldn’t focus your efforts entirely online. Offline branding is just as important, especially when you take your music on the road. Many of us adorned our bedroom walls with posters of our favourite groups, collected flyers from gigs, and snapped up as much merchandise as possible.
Incorporate your graphic design efforts into your printed marketing materials to keep you branding consistent. You want people to recognise you by your logo, typography, and use of imagery. Everything from your CD’s and EPs, through to t-shirts and posters should feature your killer band brand. Some places you can make the most of offline branding include:
- Local gig venues
- Pubs and clubs
- Merchandise stands at gigs
- Small local stores
Making the Most of Branding
Branding your band isn’t something you can do over night. Take the time to work on your branding with everyone in the group. But it shouldn’t be a chore. Coming up with a quirky, unique, and memorable band logo is a great way to tell everyone what you’re about.
These measures are some things most bands are doing anyway – they just may not be aware of the real potential. Taking the time to craft an image for your band will help you stand out from everyone else in your niche. Make your mark, and brand your band.
Are you in a band? Need a hand crafting a killer logo? Then get in touch with branding and design experts. Visit their website today to find out more.