Welcome back to Branding for Musicians! In this segment, we will look at how the final element of branding yourself—your personality—brings everything together.
At this point, you already know that your music, aka "your sound" is just one of the three main building blocks of successful branding. Paired with consistent visuals through all your media, you're on your way to becoming a legend. The final piece to creating a recognizable brand that people will connect with is identity. This is the glue that brings all the individual elements together.
Every successful artist has a unique identity, and oftentimes it's what attracts fans. Sure, Michael Jackson made amazing music, but it was his personality that made people go nuts. Same with Elvis. And The Beatles. And Beyoncé. And every other major star.
It's all about creating a personal connection that people become attracted to and want to interact with. Say you discover a new singer with a great voice and you really like their music. Then you find out that they do something that you strongly stand against, let's say they have a hobby for hunting baby rhinos. Odds are, if you have half a heart, you most likely wouldn't like that artist as much. You would probably never follow them on their social media profiles. You would never buy their album. You would never buy tickets to their shows and you most certainly would not sport a T-shirt with their face all over it. This is because the two of you don't connect on things that are important to you, the things outside of the music.
What is an artist's identity?
Your artist identity, or artist personality, is who you are as an artist or as the band. Think of it like your personality's DNA. So what exactly determines your artist identity? It's who you are, what you do, and what you don't do. It's in the vocabulary you use, your behavior on stage, your behavior off stage, on red carpets, in interviews, and on your social media. It all plays an important role in shaping what people will build into a complete image of your artist identity.
The Rolling Stones always branded themselves as rock star women-lovers. Every article ever released about them, every interview they ever gave, and every public appearance they ever made just reinforced that image. P!nk and Beyoncé, on the other hand, are icons of female empowerment, and it shows in everything they say, do, and release into the world.