You're a band, but do you really know who you are? You've all come together for some reason or another, some more obvious than the rest. But now that you're doing music for real, you need to create a strong brand identity that's going to show people what they're in for. You may let your music do the talking, but a band brand identity will help create the sense of community you want among a fanbase, projecting the values and ideas that are more prominent in your music to anyone who sees and hears your work.
At the simplest level, a brand is who you are professionally. It's not just a logo that you can slap on some cool merch, though that is an awesome perk of good branding. Really, your brand is a reflection of your brand as a whole. It's a visual representation of the entire essence of your group. Branding also has non-visual components like how you speak online and the type of content you share on social media. Combining your visual elements, communicative style, values and mission as a band will all lead to the foundation of a cohesive brand that is distinctively you.
Perks of having a brand is that you're instantly easier to recognize. People can get a feel for who you are just by taking a cursory glance at your social media profiles and maybe your website. While your music will always be the cornerstone of your identity as musicians, your brand is what will represent that identity to the world.
A strong brand can be a challenge to build, which is why it's good to reach out to professionals like graphic designers along the way. They can help you visualize your ideas and turn them into something tangible. Having a brand makes it easier to market yourself to venues, land more gigs and promote more effectively. For up-and-comers, a good brand can make the difference between landing the job that sets you on the map and being booked for yet another nobody's wedding.
As you embark on establishing your brand identity, make sure every member of the band is included. It's easy for power dynamics to naturally take hold in any social group, but the lead vocalist isn't any more important than the bassist or drummer. All of you have a role to play in making your band what it is, and that role is something that spans deeper than simply what you do. Talk about who you are, what brought you together and don't be afraid to dig deep and get uncomfortable. Intimacy breeds authenticity, and being authentic is the most important thing when it comes to a brand.
Show your future fans who you are, not who you think they'll like. As cliché as it sounds, when you're true to who you are, the work practically does itself for you. If you are successful, you’ll need to upkeep your image for a long time, so make it an image that you like!
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