Branding for Musicians 101
What’s good guys,
Steve Chadwick here from Hella Classics, kicking off this blog with the first post of many more awesome posts to come for all you recording artists and fellow beat makers/producers.
(HellaClassics.com/Blog…..Get ready for some epic s**t!)
I figured the first topic in this blog should be branding, seeing as this should really be your first step as a musician trying to break out into the industry…
So what is branding?
Essentially, branding comes down to building your image and your identity. However, there is more to branding than just coming up with a catchy name and getting a fancy logo designed! You are connecting yourself with the consumer (the buyer or potential fan) by identifying yourself through means of imagery,themes and then marketing that image to the people who are likely to want what you are offering.
Naming your brand
Now this is crucial, if you can take anything away from the whole concept of branding, you really want to get this part right!
You want a catchy name that is unforgettable and can be easily recognizable for whatever niche you’re in.
For example, my producer name, and the name of my production company is Hella Classics (hopefully you figured that already!) I believe it is recognizable as a brand catering to the Hip Hop scene because of the words used in my title, and I think it describes my music pretty well as I have a classical sound in a lot of my beats. It’s also easy to remember as it doesn’t really sound like any other production teams name. I love it, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything or anyone!
Here’s a quick check list to follow for coming up with a brandable name for you, your band/group or production company.
- Be original
- Get creative with your name
- Choose a name that describes your brand
- Use relevant or suitable Imagery to associate with your brand (my logo is an example of this, it has a classical theme with the typography and orchestral imagery that match not only my name but a lot of my beats too)
- Consistent colors (ties in with theme)
- Don’t copy or try to replicate others
- Don’t use names based on characters, celebrities, movies etc. Not only do you look less creative when doing this, but you could be setting yourself up for copy right issues further down the road. Refer to the first point in the “Do’s” column, be original!
- For Producers, don’t use “Beatz” in your name. It’s kinda played out now, and there’s more ways to get creative than changing a letter around in your name!
Creating your Concept & Image
Think of you’re favorite emcees, bands or producers. More than likely they all have their own unique logo that you recognize as “their mark”, when you see their logo on T.V or in a magazine or on a flyer you immediately know who’s mark it is. The brand name and the logo go hand in hand when you market yourself, so when crafting an image to represent your brand, you might want to have some or all of these bases covered:
- Make the logo look as fancy as you want!
- Make sure it’s relevant to you and what you’re about. It wouldn’t make sense for a producer to have a car on their logo, that would be pretty stupid (sorry haha)
- Have a fashionable logo. If you’re planning on having your logo printed on T-Shirts and other forms of clothing, you want an attractive logo that people would happily wear. I personally like the G-Unit logo, I think it looks great on a black T-Shirt!
- Think ahead. Your music will evolve and your sound may change slightly as the years go on, so use a concept that is going to be relevant to you 10 years from now etc.
- Take marketability into consideration. When advertising yourself you don’t want an image that will put people off or discourage them from checking you out.
It took me three years to come up with the perfect name. Every other name I had thought of had either been taken already, or was just unsuitable. A lot of the names I had written down were pretty generic too ( I’m too embarrassed to tell you the names I had come up with because they were just that bad haha). So what I’m saying is don’t rush this process, put some thought into it and come up with a name that you are 100% sure is going to last, and that your buyers/fans/supporters can relate to and will remember. Once you have decided on the brand name, then decide on the concept for your logo, keeping it relevant to you and your brand.
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