This week has been all about the music for me. Nine hours of sleep doesn’t cut it at this point of exhaustion. In order to stay focused and keep my sanity, I listened to a lot of music. Fortunately, I came across one of my all-time favorite childhood soundtracks: Walt Disney’s Fantasia. Below is a video of Night on Bald Mountain. This scene from Fantasia captures a terrifying night in which Chernabog’s demons come out to play in the dark. It is one of my absolute favorite songs from one of my childhood obsessions. (I used to pretend that I was the wizard’s apprentice and ran around demanding the broom to do my chores.)
Musical Branding Trends
Since I was listening to so many different bands, I noticed how different they all look. Some fit the “scene” look, others wear masks or make-up, and a few are just cartoon characters. It got me thinking about branding and reputation for musicians. Exactly how do they figure out what the best look will be for their market? Or is it that they actually dress and act like they do in real life? Maybe it’s a combination of both.
Music branding trends come and go, but there are a few that may just stick. Mike Boris, svp/executive music producer at McCann Erickson says that social networking with advertising, marketing and public relations companies help build a foundation that a band can leap from.
“The biggest trend [in 2009] was the use of social networking: Artists are being discovered and in turn working with brands. Bands are also becoming popular well before they get a label deal. If a band has an online following of a few hundred thousand fans, it is like a focus group. With the whole music business changing, artists are looking to our industry more than ever, and beyond that 30-second spot, bands can synergize with our brands like never before. (Via Web films, behind the scene’s footage, additional songs, product giveaways, contests, etc.)”
Another trend that I’ve noticed has been the use of songs that aren’t on the Top 40 list for TV commercials. A lot of my own favorite bands and songs have been featured in automotive commercials or spots for Apple products. Commercials are a great way to get exposure.
Managing Reputation is Important
When there’s not much you can do in the way of big name connections, you always have your online presence. Managing your online reputation is more than just replying to comments, updating information, and talking about the location of your next gig. It’s about engaging with your audiences, whether they be fans, industry leaders, or venue owners. Below you’ll find a list of tips for managing your online brand and reputation. Unless your band is one who wants a bad rep and plays the villain, these next few bullet points will be useful.
- Let Someone Else Say It- If you can find a Tweet, blog, or article by someone else that captures what you’d like to say, link to it. It’s better to align with a third party than to push all of your messages at people. Pretty soon, they won’t listen anymore.
- Unify Digital Properties- Link your MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Deliscious page and any other social networking sites together. It’s an effective way to reach a broader audience, and it’s easier to update and monitor everything.
- Leave Your Ego Behind- When hecklers and D-bags attack you with insults or threats, it’s best to either ignore and delete the messages or CALMLY respond without any hint that it affected you. Remember that the internet is a free marketplace and anyone will be able to see your responses…
- Know Your Audience- Your audience is made up of different segments. It’s impossible to cater to all of them at one time, so we have to divide them up. One group may not respond the same way as another group so it’s important to tailor messages according to characteristics of each group.
- Don’t Wallow or Gloat- If you win a music competition or suck it at a tour opener, don’t obsess over it. Airing dirty laundry or repeated self-praising will only cause people to lose respect for you. Just keep it simple.