For this reason alone, it pays dividends to have a visible brand in place that can continuously create opportunities and generate value. This is why Tik Tok, Instagram & Twitter have flourished as social media platforms that cater — heavy — to musicians and fans alike.
With the use of hashtags, algorithms and a high level of accessibility. Building your brand is all about brand positioning and developing an association with similar artists through collaborations or brand collusion.
This is why it’s important to clearly define where you stand and the 5Ps of brand DNA is a great way to carve out your own identity in the music industry. Five questions that need to be answered are as follows:
- What is your brand Purpose?
- What is your brand Positioning?
- What is your brand Promise?
- What is your brand Personality?
- What is your brand Presence?
Properly utilizing the 5Ps of brand DNA is comparable to both a science and an art. With recommendations from fans and the rise of discovery pages (on Instagram & Tik Tok). There will always be an opportunity to be discovered by a potential ‘Stan’ (High-value individuals).
Your main goal as an artist is to continuously create value. This is where properly defining your 5Ps come into place.
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Besides creating content, clearly defining your brand DNA is one of the biggest asset in traditional and digital marketing. Having clear sense of who you are and where you want to be can be a major deciding factor when it comes to longevity (i.e. 21 Savage).
Lets take a deeper look below.
1. Brand Purpose
Brand purpose is about clearly defining your ‘Why’. Why are you making music? What drives you to create? Developing brand purpose is more than just existing in a space. Clearly stating your brand purpose is a great way to invite people on your journey.
For example, XXXTentacion was great at voicing his purpose (overcoming depression) and connecting with fans who shared those same experiences. The key is to do what’s natural for you and build on top of that foundation. A big part of brand DNA is substance, what people will remember you by.
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2. Brand Positioning
This is probably one of the most important aspects of defining your brand DNA. We’ve seen a lot artists get in position and falter when it comes to positioning.
At the same time, we’ve seen artists get in position and take off. Brand positioning has a lot to do with the system you are apart of as well. This is why Independent Record Labels have been so influential within the last decade. It’s an easier task to maintain as an collective than as a solo act.
I look at like this: if you come from a smaller market, your odds of success are much higher given there’s a scarcity surrounding music. When your in a top market like Atlanta, it’s a much easier scenario to get outflanked.
Lil Baby talks about it often in his raps, once you do get in position it’s more work to maintain your position when you’re competing with the likes of Future, Young Thug & 21 Savage (The list goes on).
It’s a Blood Sport at the top, no matter who you are, you gotta compete — regardless. Positioning your brand within a label or just on a local level can be the difference between success and failure.
3. Brand Promise
Defining your brand Promise is about building trust and maintaining your relationship that you have with your fans. No matter what you want to lead with, whether it be value, energy (motivation, inspiration, lifestyle, etc).
Clearly defining your brand promise to your target audience can put you in position to be successful. One of my favorite examples of a Brand Promise — all the way around — is the podcast, “MILLION DOLLAZ WORTH OF GAME”.
It’s a great time in hip hop and we’re in a place where we can continuously push the culture. While at the same time, re-define how people are ultimately consuming content. A brand promise is just an overarching extension of brand positioning, as an artists it’s best to be prepared when it comes to both as they go hand in hand.
4. Brand Personality
This is one of the most — essential — aspects of the 5Ps of brand DNA because it directly relates to the people (the outside). You have a number of examples online and throughout social media when it comes brand personality.
This is another aspect where you have to do what’s natural for you. For example — you have a number of different financial education outlets, such as Earn Your Leisure, Grant Cordone, Dave Ramsey, etc.
All the same “general” message, which is financial literacy. Altogether, different personalities for different cultures. When it comes to your music, approach it the same way. What’s the message that you want to portray?
5. Brand Presence
This is where the visual aesthetics like brand logos, merchandise and other visual cues take place. If you’re heavy into merchandise, this is your time to shine. Brand Presence is about how people can relate your visuals to the overall sound.
Nipsey Hussle was great at this when it came to Marathon Clothing Brand and connecting his brand Presence to his different venture. As of lately, Griselda has picked up the torch when it comes to effectively mixing fashion and art.
Check out the video below.
Establishing a strong brand presence through merchandise and live shows is a great route to take. It give fans the opportunity to express themselves outwardly by showing their support and embracing your movement.