One of the most important byproducts of great branding is longevity. The same way consistency creates wealth, branding creates opportunities and as we all may well know — more opportunities equate to more chances for growth.
That’s why we’ve seen Lil Uzi Vert grow from SoundCloud’s most followed artist in 2016 to sustaining one of Hip Hop’s top brands. From Philly to Atlanta & back out to L.A. — Lil Uzi Vert has ascended through music, fashion & anime.
With that being said, I believe it’s always important to break down strategies for new & upcoming artists that can provide a fresh perspective when it comes to maintaining success. Lets take a look below.
1. Brand Association
For musicians — specifically — brand associations can be approached from a number of different angles. Lil Uzi Vert has traditionally used his love for anime, fashion and imagery as vehicle for his music. Brand associations can be a powerful tool for growth when coupled with the right strategies.
For example, Uzi has intertwined these completely different Worlds into something that is truly unique for his fans to experience. His branding is presented in a way that “opens the door” to who he is as an artist that continuously speaks to his day one fans and invites newcomers (who maybe fans of luxury fashion, anime and cars) to his music.
It provides inclusion on every level from the fans who enjoy motor sports, to the fans who are more drawn to anime and luxury designers. That’s where brand association holds it most value, by having the ability to ascend ‘pop’ culture and creating a space for the artist to live in the mind’s of their fans.
Check out the video for “Team Rocket,” inspired by the famous villains from the anime series “Pokemon”.
2. Adjust To The Times
A big part of success in music and — life in general — comes down to your ability to adjust to the times. A major aspect of branding is positioning, once you’re in position the focus should shift to timing. Building a brand that will stand the test of time should be your number one priority.
Why? Because history has shown us that music and content — can and will stand the test of time. As an artist, it’s your responsibility to be ‘present’ in that moment. When it comes comes to creating waves, Lil Uzi Vert can be mentioned with the likes of Andre 3000, Prince, Busta Rhymes & DMX.
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Fashion historian Shelby Ivey Christie speaks on Lil Uzi Vert and his innovative style when it comes to positioning himself within the fashion community.
“In the black music landscape, Uzi has promoted a more fluid style in the traditionally hyper-masculine rap profession”
“Fashion seems to be a huge piece of who he is and something that he enjoys, so that comes through in his lyrics.
He often takes shots at styles he doesn’t care for as well which exposes that he’s abreast of style trends and keeps up with the fashion landscape.”
3. Develop A Signature Sound
From the SoundCloud charts to the Billboard Hot 100, Lil Uzi Vert has continuously developed a flow that can recognized from worlds apart. This valuable distinction can also be accredited to the success of many artists throughout history.
Developing a signature sound will not only help you build a brand, it will help to solidify your place in history. Always remember, you are YOU and no one else will be able to duplicate your voice or creativity.
Once you grasp that concept, your ability to create will become unlimited.
“I feel like he’s hit on our platform like no other artist because he’s always setting the tone instead of always being a part of something that’s going on.
It’s obvious that he’s genre-agnostic and that he’s influenced by a ton of different things; he is making a path and he’s not fitting into something that’s going on.”
Lisa Ellis, the Global Head of Music, Artist Relations, and Label Services at SoundCloud
“You was right, I was wrong / Yeah, I should’ve never ever took her home / Yeah, I should’ve just boned / Yeah, fantasy on my phone.”
Check out the video below.