A Musician’s Guide To Branding: Part 1 – What IS Branding And Why Do You Need It?

Over the next few days we’re going to be looking at the very important topic of branding:  What it is, why you need it and how you go about branding yourself if you are a musician or band. Let’s kick off with a very important question…

What Exactly Is A Brand?

A brand is just the name, design, symbol or feature that identifies something as being different from everything else. The term ‘branding’ was initially used to differentiate cattle by the use of a distinctive symbol on the animal’s skin. Makes sense when you put it like that doesn’t it.


Branding on cattle allows farmers to differentiate between animals. As an artist you need to differentiate yourself from other DIY acts.

A brand is also the ‘promise of an experience’ and it assures people as to the quality of the product or service that they will receive when they buy it.  For example, if you visit a popular fast food chain you can be certain that no matter which branch you visit of the quality of the food will be of the same quality and you will more often than not enjoy yourself whilst you are there. This experience and quality can generate ‘value’, in other words it is worth paying more for and that in turn can lead to customer loyalty.  On the whole people love brands. Nearly all the consumer goods we buy are branded.


We LOVE brands. That’s one reason why you should become one.

Why You Need To Become A Brand

Now think about the world of music today.  There are thousands of DIY artists similar to yourselves all vying for people’s attention.  People can listen to music for free on YouTube and other free platforms and digital music has little to no value.  If however you incorporate elements of branding into your music marketing you can

  • Help to differentiate yourself from other musicians.
  • Become ‘more’ than just music.
  • Increase the value of what you are selling.

Branding is not so much about ‘commoditising’ your music, it is about defining who and what you are,  differentiating yourself from the other musical acts in your field and doing so in a way that will make your music of value to people.  People will actually want to give you money for it.  We could all do with more of that.

Next time we’ll look at how we go about building a brand and the first part of that is visuals.