This article is lesson 2 of a 3-part mini-series on the music branding. If you want the cheat sheet, lessons and action steps in sequential order, you can sign up for free right here.

The 4 Music Brand Archetypes And Strategies To Brand Your Sound.

To brand your music, there are only four models you can follow. I call these “archetypes”.

They are…

  • Thematic – where you follow a theme
  • Personal – where you create a personal brand
  • Persona – where you create a persona
  • Genre – where you model your brand based on existing artists

Reference my music branding cheatsheet (step 2) for guidance on picking the correct Archetype for your music.

This is important because the Archetype you choose will guide your next step. Finding, what I call, your BrandCore. This is step 2 in the 3-step MisicBrand process.

Your “BrandCore”

Once you’ve identified how you want to impact other people, you’re ready to connect the dots between the sound of your music and visual design.

There’s no need to complicate this. It’s quite simple. You need three things:

  1. Color
  2. Graphics/art-style
  3. Logo or typography

These are explained in detail below, with specific examples of how they can be applied in practice…

1. Color

Color is the first thing people notice in your music branding. That’s why it’s the best place to start matching the sound of your music visual branding.

The way people “feel” about it is 90% influenced by color.

The science behind this is that colors bring forth different emotions.

To explain, I want you to picture yourself in a room painted all yellow, and then a room painted all blue.

You’ll feel differently in each room because of the mood created by the color. Just as you’ll feel differently listening to Miles Davis, Metallica, or Beethoven.

This is the best way to begin braiding your “sound”. Use the emotions in your music to guide the decision.

Example: How To Pick Your Brand Color

Say you’re a musician is going through this branding process and, as cheesy as it may sound, you want your music to make people happy.

You like the color red. But when you match the sound of your music to colors you discover that the color red actually conveys anger. That’s not what you want.

Instead, you list all the emotions you want people to feel when they listen to your music.

A simple Google Search for “colors that represent happiness”.

You discover that a combination of bright, fun colors are the best fit for your music.

Then you follow a color guide (I have several in my course MusicBrand) to use in all your music branding. Your images are consistent, merchandise, typography, etc. Now, every time someone looks at their branding, they “feel” the way the music sounds.

All this is done through color.

I’ll explain how you can do this in a moment. Let’s look at another way to match a brand to “sound”.

2. Graphics/Art-style

Graphics and art-style are simple. It’s all the visual elements and how they come together.

The visual side of your branding other than color.

Images, merchandise, graphics, biz cards, social media posts, etc.—you want it all to be cohesive and fit your music.

Watch the video at the top of this page for examples. Then continue reading below…


How To Ensure Your Graphics / Art-Style Is Visually Consistent AND Fits Your Music

There are three types of graphics and art-style in musician branding…

  1. Images – provide detail, literal, physical, like real life objects.
  2. Patterns – graphics that repeat, good for backgrounds. Fun and professional.
  3. Illustrations – images that are designed in 2D. Graphics-based and designed on a computer.

If you want your graphics to be visually consistent AND fit the vibe of your music, how can you do that?

Turns out, there’s a proven process you can follow to find the right match.

I’m going to demonstrate that process using images (per the 3 options listed above), but you can follow these steps to pick patterns, illustrations or any other graphics to match your music.

It’s similar to color, there are three steps, but with a little twist. Let’s go over each step.

Step 1 – Find an image that you think best represents your music and save it to your desktop. To find your image, I recommend using Google Search. (Remember, if an image is worth a thousand words, you’d use this image to describe your music.)

Step 2 – List three emotions that come to mind when you look at the image. This is important because music is abstract. Defining the emotion and matching color is a way to bridge the gap.

Step 3 – Use your original reference image and list of emotions to find other images that are consistent.

Be sure to watch the video at the top of the page for examples if you haven’t already.

3. Logo/typography

In addition to color and graphics, you need a logo and typography that represents your music. This is the visual summary of your brand. And typography is simply the style of the lettering or text you use in your logo or other media.

You want it to match your music.

Let me explain how to do this using a logo as an example.

The best way to accomplish this is to combine everything we’ve discussed so far:

  1. Message
  2. Color
  3. Graphics/art-style

I explain in the video at the top of the page, so be sure to watch it if you haven’t already. Then, move on to the next section of this article to see how it all comes together.

Top To Bottom Music Branding Example

Let’s look at an example of how connecting message, to music and brand, works.

Say a musician is going through the 3-step MusicBrand process.

They absolutely loved reading comic books as a kid. They love them as an adult, but people make fun of them. They are frustrated and their music reflects that but they weren’t sure why.

Message – Through the branding process, they’ve decided that they love being a nerd and to hell what people think.

Connect Message And Music – They’ve realized that they want to use their music to give people like them a sense of belonging and identity.

Strategy – They play gigs at comic-con, and video game and anime conventions. They start a YouTube channel featuring covers of them playing anime theme songs.

Branding and Design – Their music has a mascot: a superhero. They drew it themselves. They put this on their merchandise. They use bright colors and comic book style lettering in all their album artwork, social media images, and website design.

They have a world-class music brand that speaks to their real fans and their fan base grows organically.

There are no marketing tricks or gimmicks. No cheap or manipulative business techniques. The brand is 100% true, effective, and authentic. The musician loves it and so do their real fans.

That’s a top to bottom example of branding from the inside out.

In another article, I’m going to take you through the process and show how to brand your music using a real-life musician as a case study.

This article is lesson 2 of a 3-part mini-series on the music branding. If you want the cheat sheet, lessons and action steps in sequential order, you can sign up for free right here.

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