Saturday, February 2, 2013

Expand Your B(r)and

One of the biggest opportunities artists have is leveraging their brand for more than their music. So they've nailed down the consistent fonts and color schemes, and maybe even get a logo going to incorporate into all their designs, but once they get a brand platform like that in place, there is so much more that can be done to expand it with a little creativity and strategy.

Now, the ways in which an artist can leverage their brand are potentially limitless. We've all seen the Toby Keith Ford commercials or the John Mayer signature guitars. These are some of the bigger examples of artists and product brands coming together for mutual benefit.

Smaller acts, unfortunately, rarely get these kinds of opportunities. However, there are still ways to use their brand for more than music, and here are some of my favorite examples:

Man OverboardMan Overboard - Defend Pop Punk
79,369 Facebook Fans // 32,897 Twitter Followers

Man Overboard comes from the New Jersey pop punk scene and has done a great job of establishing a brand that extends farther than their recordings. 

The band has created a "Defend Pop Punk" brand that can be found on nearly every merch item and every page of their website. To me, this is a brilliant move. The minute something is branded in this way, Man Overboard has almost instantly extended their reach past their fans to fans of the entire genre. 

Shirock - Everything Burns
19,584 Facebook Fans // 1,509 Twitter Followers

Another band that has popped up on my radar because of their branding is Nashville-based pop/rock band Shirock. Similar to Man Overboard, Shirock has created their own branding for their merch, but what sets them apart is their non-profit, Everything Burns.

The band created this non-profit as a way to leverage their status among their fanbase to make a difference in the world. Everything Burns specficially targets college and high school students, and provides them the resources to organize around social issues they care about. 

I bring these two examples up because they are two completely different ways that artists can expand their brand without the resoures of a megastar. So if you're an artist looking to establish a brand above and beyond your music, here are some things to think about:
  • What causes/movements/genres do you most identify with as an artist?
  • What are some ways you could partner with others already pursuing that mission?
  • How can you creatively use the resources you have to make your brand about more than music?
 Once you find something you believe in, the key is to be genuine in how you pursue it. If your ultimate goal is record sales, maybe starting a non-profit isn't your best avenue. However, if you want to sell more tickets and records, remember how Man Overboard created a brand to associate with an entire genre.

Be creative and experiment with things. 

What are some great examples of artists brands you've seen?

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