On this visitor put up, James Fitzjohn (fundamental picture), group engagement lead at Wunderman Thompson in Perth, says there’s lots manufacturers can study from the best way music bands market themselves…
I used to equate the demise of ‘band branding’ as one other loss of life knell to the state of the music in 2020; conveniently side-stepping the truth that my perspective of the ‘demise’ must also be seen by way of the lens of fixing musical tastes and my advancing years. Nonetheless, in an business the place the invention course of has fewer visible cues, from bodily owned music to retail level of buy; are document labels lacking a trick by not figuring out and constructing constant but differentiated model property for his or her artists?
I’ve been fascinated by band branding since earlier than I got here to work within the advertising business. The fonts, colors, logos, mascots, merchandise that surrounded the artists and supported the music had been usually gateways into these bands at a time when discovery was not so simple as being served a Spotify Radio playlist. Rising up within the UK, there was no stronger and extra iconic illustration of band branding than on the well-known crimson and yellow poster that was the annual Studying & Leeds pageant. The communication thought was easy. Clearly articulate which artists had been taking part in on the pageant, on which day and on which stage. Nonetheless, utilizing the logos of the bands gave it an nearly lifelike high quality, seeing the political hierarchy of which artists had been headlining, how the designer squeezed all of them into the format and which bands weren’t well-known sufficient to warrant their very own emblem illustration.
It was additionally the period of Britpop, with Blur and Oasis being two of the important thing protagonists who rapidly demonstrated an advocacy for constant band branding. Oasis had their easy outlined lower-case articulation (which they may have borrowed from 9 Inch Nails. Google it.) and Blur pioneered their cursive nearly futuristic font emblem. Within the early days, each bands ensured that each bodily launch, each gig commercial within the NME, each ticket-stub and every bit of merchandise was constantly marked with their branding. They had been two of the most important promoting artists of the 90’s and early 2000’s – the music was in fact an element, however they made it simpler for music followers to establish, entry and have interaction with the band in non-audio phrases.
Inside the same timeframe each had modified branding route. Blur’s 1999 album, 13, didn’t characteristic the Blur emblem and the identical occurred with the criminally under-rated Assume Tank in 2003 – each these albums offered significantly much less copies than their illustrious releases of their late 90’s peak.
Oasis did one thing barely completely different and from a branding perspective arguably extra heinous – their 2000 launch of Standing on the Shoulder of Giants featured a brand new Oasis emblem, going for a San-Francisco/ocean setting route which coincided with the beginning of the decline of one of many largest bands of the period. Maybe recognising the branding fake pas, the unique emblem was again in play for 2005’s Don’t Imagine the Fact which preceded an interim Frankenstein effort of each logos on 2002’s Heathen Chemistry.
Poor model administration, musical artists changing into bloated from success or handy narrative?
Analysing how the music buy journey seemed traditionally in contrast with 2020 helps to attract conclusions of the significance of band branding by way of musical discovery. The decline of bodily music codecs and the supporting retail environments have decreased a significant touch-point for customers to have interaction with musical artists. Crate digging and thumbing the rack is a vastly pleasurable expertise, however one strongly related to optimistic branding. Until you knew what you had been searching for, your bodily search stopped when confronted with a recognisable album cowl: a picture of the artist or the brand – in different phrases – band branding.
The correlation between profitable band branding and subsequent industrial success may be drawn from many different musical genres and examples. The Chemical Brothers and Muse have each loved a 20-year plus profession and have demonstrated the virtues of name administration husbandry by way of their fonts, logos and iconic reside reveals. Equally, Daft Punk, with their ever-present scripted band emblem, went one step additional with the creation of their robotic alter-egos. Iron Maiden mixed not solely a strongly resonating and constant emblem but in addition launched the thought of a band mascot within the type of Eddie, who not solely featured on all their main studio launch albums however was the primary character in what was a terrific instance of a model extension – an Iron Maiden online game.
However does all this matter on the planet of music streaming when the moment gratification of ‘proudly owning’ music is thru a easy swipe and contact of our cell system? Sure, the business resides in a world the place obvious visible alternatives are diminished however alternative knocks within the face of seismic class change. Decrease consideration spans and a less-engaged discovery and shopping for course of signifies that artists have fewer photographs at resonating, so each second must be fastidiously crafted and be constant to make sure saliency. Like many different leisure industries, music is changing into multi-channel. It’s not simply concerning the audio expertise (though some would say that’s all that issues), however the visible cues, the multi-media expertise, the lives reveals, the images type, the chat present look, the curated social media presence – all of those are advertising actions which might profit from a unified branding strategy that goes as much as 11.