Branding of the Bands
We previously posted a topic on why bands should consider music licensing as an alternative revenue model – here’s taking it a step further. Brands are starting to open up their doors to independent acts. We already had top shot mega stars in bed with brands (think Michael Jackson/Pepsi venture, 50 Cent and Jay-Z in a footwear deal with Reebok and even Axl Rose’s deal with Dr. Pepper for the release of his album ‘Chinese Democracy’ that has been in development for the last 17 years). What we are now seeing are lesser known artist hopping on the band-wagon. For instance, Apple, which had previously used U2 and Feist for iPod commercials, now chose a young unconsolidated singer Yael Naim for the release of their MacBook air commercial. In the experimental dance community, Groove Armada have just settled with Bacardi. The marketing deal encompasses recordings, touring and audiovisual content. A Barcardi representative cites:
Brands thus can represent a good alternative to traditional record labels: they got money and they’re promotion gurus. Of course the branding will have to stay subtle enough so that the band’s image stays intact. Not many bands would agree to have a big Coca Cola sticker right on the bass drum, but hopefully brands won’t head that way. Here is an interesting article on the subject where a member of an indie bands muses:
Brand your band !!
Also, consider literally branding your band. All bands do this to some extent but not all see it as something crucial for their commercial success. I mean making a good quality logo, putting up decent posters, gig swapping with appropriate bands, handing out not only flyers but business cards, perfecting your personal live sound. Everything you do to make your band go a step forward should help people remember you and you only. Branding is the art of association and the more things your fans associate you with what they relate to, the better. That’s why selling merchandise is so important. A t-shirt bought at a concert doesn’t only stand for something to wear with a cool design, more importantly it represents a souvenir, an impalpable sensation of a past well being that you made possible. Merch shouldn’t only be for the money and the promotion; it should help your fans identify their everyday lives with your music (when using or wearing your merchandise that is).
Here’s what Clif, who hosts the cool critical music blog Music in 2d has to say: