Musicians’ Corporate Identity Explained
While many artists might blanche at the idea of having a corporate identity, the reality is that being a musician means running a small business, and while having a CI is important for branding, it hardly makes you sellout.
Guest post by Sara-Lena Probst of BlackbirdPunk
Corporate Identity sounds more complicated than it actually is. However, there are some things to keep in mind. Read On
Corporate Identity is not a common buzz-word in the music business. However, it is a very important step for any musicians or bands branding.
Hence, an important part of success. This is crazy, so many musicians think that if you work on your branding you are loosing authenticity.
A common mistake some artists make is to confuse authenticity with branding.*source: Spinnup
Here’s the kicker: your fan is, at the end of the day, the consumer of your music. And a consumer in modern-day times sees branding all the time.
As a matter of fact, if you lack branding it can actually have a negative impact on your overall performance. People already kind of expect it as a quality measurement.
What does Corporate Identity consists of
In the first place, Corporate Identity or CI is the visual statement you’re putting out there about yourself or your band. It showcases different viewpoints.
For once, it highlights to others how you view yourself. Next, it shows how you wish others see you. Also, you want others to recognise and remember you instantly.
Even though CI comes from the business world, CI as described above is super relevant to any musician.
Why? Because it gives your fans something to hold onto as well as it helps them to recognise and remember you.
In a world where thousand of new tracks appear on Spotify, for example, branding is the currency that helps you trade your music!BlackbirdPunk
In detail, your CI consists of your logo, your colour scheme, cover art for your releases, your merch, your tour posters and uniforms, for example.
You think I’m crazy? Just look at famous bands like The Hives.
From the beginning, they sported clear colour schemes for each album. Also, they created stage uniforms to go along. They see this through to the stage decorations and merch and more.
If you think a strong CI like The Hives are sporting is boring then watch this video.
Define your Corporate Identity as detailed as possible
Let’s define CI with some examples at bit more to make it really clear:
Your logo can be either a symbol or your name tag written in a cool way. Just think of Coca-Cola and you instantly know what I mean. The red is significant for Coca-Cola as well is the writing. Even if you see it from far away on a billboard, for example, you still get that it’s the Coca-Cola banner. This is what logos are mainly there to place a visual memory in the consumer’s brain.
- Colour Scheme:
The colours can already be part of your logo. Also, the colour scheme is super important for your website and social media platforms. Especially Instagram is really keen on profiles having a stringent colour scheme. Firstly, it tyes in all posts into one coherent look. Also, if you post something, your fans will immediately spot that it’s yours. Colours also transport feelings. Also, beware of prejudice that comes with certain colours. For example, if you are a heavy metal band you probably don’t want to use hot pink in your colour scheme. Unless it becomes part of your branding that you like to make fun of yourself. You see, it always depends. If you make clear and deliberate choices you can also communicate the rational to your fans. However, this being clear in the meaning of your visuals is what CI is all about!
The cover art for your releases is also part of the overall CI!
- Cover Art:
Since the invention of vinyl, cover art has become an elementary visual aspect of music releases. What is more, it gives you ample space to work your CI! Why? Firstly, because you can place your logo on the cover. Also, you can sport the colour scheme you’ve chosen, either for your band or just for this release. Another great point is that you can use the visual to transport the feelings you want the fan to feel. It is like a promotion billboard within the product itself.
- Product Packaging:
The way you produce your physical products is also part of the overall CI. Do you take special care to produce amazing gatefold vinyl with a professionally printed inlay? Or do you simply make jewel-case CDs? Both choices transport certain feelings.
Corporate Identity best-practise
Make a difference! Have a clear reason why you are making music. Your ‘Why’ is everything in branding and especially for Corporate Identity. Make an impression in order for fans to prefer you over someone else Spotify playlist or YouTube channel, for example.
Be relevant! Connect with what your fans care about and tune in with their dreams and aspirations. In order to build up a demand for your music, you need to know what is relevant for your fans!
Be coherent! Your Corporate Identity needs to be coherent. That is why it is so important that the pictures on all your social media platforms speak one visual language. Also, the language you use to communicate with your fans needs to be steady as well as the level of professionalism.
Have esteem! Value both your internal and external audiences. That means that you need to be honest to yourself as well as to your fans. Building up a reputation has everything to do with having the esteem to stand behind your output. Especially in such a digital era as we live in.
Always remember, one of the most important steps in having a Corporate Identity is to actually start thinking about it. Start to purposefully use colour and make sure your logo is unique to you.
Also, it could be a good idea to establish a style guide where you write down the most important aspects of your Corporate Identity. Make sure you always communicate it with everyone in your team who is responsible for social media management.
Also, don’t forget to style your streaming profiles at Spotify and co according to your Corporate Identity. At the end of the day, a Corporate Identity can really help you stand out in a time where unknown numbers of tracks and videos show up on the internet every day.