Sunday, May 4, 2008

Building Your Own KISS Army: A Lesson In Branding

KISS and branding
Tonight we have a special guest post from Eric Hebert. Eric is a music blogger and advocate of the new music business and promotional model, as well as a frequent commenter here. He writes for and runs a great company called Evolvor Media. If you would like to write a guest post that will be heard by musicians as well as marketers, gen-y influencer's and music industry professionals, send an e-mail to Take it away Eric!

Many musicians are often uneducated when it comes to concepts like branding,
and for good reason - they're musicians, not business people. That's why many bands don't make it without the help of record labels, who DO understand these principles (or think they do anyway).

That's why people like Greg and myself have taken it upon ourselves to teach musicians the ins and outs of branding and creating a fan base, so others can learn a little about the business and hopefully understand it better than before.

To start, let's talk about the concept of what branding is. Many believe branding revolves around creating a logo.

Branding is SO MUCH MORE than just a logo. Of course, having a logo is important. One concept of branding is repetition and familiarity, and having a logo that is used everywhere you go will help create and reinforce this.

Another aspect of branding is your "tag line". This of course cannot be just some catchy phrase - it has to directly relate to your USP, short for "unique selling proposition". This of course is the unique thing that your band or music stands for. If you don't have one, you'd better start thinking of one.

So you have a logo and a USP, is that branding? Sorry. This is where many misinterpret the concept of branding. You see, branding is taking that logo and that USP and using the message you've created to interact with people. The more interaction with your fans, and the more you reinforce the message that you are trying to get across, the more powerful your brand will become and the larger your fan base will be.

This isn't easy - it's hard enough to come up with a consistent message, especially if you're in a band with a bunch of diverse people.

But you don't have to "save the planet" or "end world hunger" to have a strong message. Your USP can simply be "rock n roll all night and party every day". That pretty much sums up the brand that was KISS - rock, roll, party, and have fun. It wasn't the make up or costumes - they just reinforced the idea of what the band was all about.

Read more of Eric's writing on the music business and online marketing and promotion tips at


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