Brand identity issues have been a major crisis in the Nigerian music industry at large. As several musicians tend to be faced with how to dressed, what hairstyle to keep, what kind of music to be known with, what to represent, what kind of audience to appeal to, I could go on and on.
The music business goes beyond just going to the studio to have your song recorded and putting it out there for people to listen. It also important you are very much marketable as a brand, so you can reach out to your defined audience with ease.
The term brand has been understood to include the public image of an individual, that is how people perceive you and how your audience visualize you.
Are you seen as “The voice of the street” or as the “Lover boy”? Are you seen as that one who “urbanizes the aged-longed highlife” to interest the old and the young or the one who “addresses political issues” using the Nigerian popular Warri pidgin?.
Do you tend to communicate your personality in your kind of music, dress looks or the visual concept of your music videos?. All these mentioned falls under the context of brand identity.
Branding being a powerful marketing tool for musical artists, helps define and communicates that which makes you unique to the people you tend to attract.
If you want to make a career out of your music, then you should market yourself. And in order to market yourself well, you should treat your band as a brand.
Below is a checklist of things you can do to define your brand.
1. Define yourself and create your personal brand vision: Your brand is your story. Define it by focusing on what drives and inspires you. Organize your thoughts. Ask yourself the following questions.
- What inspires me?
- What values are most important to me as an artist?
- How do i want to be perceived/visualized by others?
- How do i want to live my professional and personal life?
- How would i describe my personal style?
Once you get answers to these questions, then your personal brand vision has been created.
2. Know your target audience: Defining and knowing your target audience helps a lot when it comes to marketing your music. Ask yourself what kind of people would your music appeal to? Are they the youths or the oldies? Are they the emotional ones who needs comforting music or the ones who want to party and shut down clubs. If you have answers to these, then your kind of music should be branded for the target consumers.
3. Let your fashion choices speak for you: You cannot just wear whatever you want as an artist. How you communicate your brand through your fashion is very important. For example, if your music is branded as a voice of Africa, incorporating several African prints in your outfits would just great. You mustn’t overdress to achieve this, a simple accessory like a big hat (Mr Eazi) can make a big difference.
4. Let your album art visually represent your music: This is also a popular occurrence in the Nigeria music industry. Your music shouldn’t be talking about heartbreak/love, while your album art is having you standing on an expensive car with 500kg gold chains on your neck. Does that even make sense. Be very conceptual when it comes to your album art design. Communicate what the song is talking about to your graphics designer.
5. Communicate your brand with your Music Videos: Your music video should have personality if you want to create a brand. Get extra creative and be conceptual. Don’t just let that music video director come up with any concept after collecting huge amount of money from you. Have him listen to the song before he comes up with ideas. Your song can’t be talking about the political crisis in Nigeria and have butt naked girls shaking in your music video. Make music videos that your audience won’t forget.
In general think about the tone and language that best represent and communicate your brand, and the artwork and imagery that fits your aesthetic. Be unique, specific and incorporate the parts of your personality that you feel comfortable sharing.
The more you can define the character of your brand, the easier it will be to establish consistent marketing strategies and build a recognizable presence.
Would you want to add anything to the list? Let us know in the comments section below.