What The Hell Is A “Brand” Anyway? Part 3

Well, if you happened to read Part 1 and Part 2, you know that a brand is simply what people think of when they think of you and that the audience controls that, not you. Also, if you read those, thanks. In Part 3 of 3, I wanted to quickly cover one other important thing about what a brand is and that is how it evolves over time. First of all, they do and they should evolve. Second, you need to account for that in your plans. The general idea is that they start small and two dimensional and they grow over time to be large and three dimensional.

When you're introducing yourself and your music (or your product or service), you need to tell a very simple story. Initially, your brand will be small and two-dimensional. That's because anything more than that is too much to expect anyone to remember. You are a laying a foundation. And that should be as simple as "he's an authentic rodeo cowboy singer" or "she's the old-school torch singer with the huge voice." Even something that references someone else – "he's the next George Strait" or "she's a modern version of Patsy Cline" – is okay as long as you move past it pretty quickly to create your own story. It serves as a landmark and a shortcut to make people understand.

Then, over time, you start to add detail and dimension to your story. But pace yourself. The story has to unfold over the course of ten years or so. Go too fast and not only will you confuse people, but you'll run out of story to tell. Go too slowly and you'll fail to keep people's interest and attention. Eventually, if you’re fortunate enough to have a long career, your brand will be large and three dimensional. It will be a great story that people love and share with their friends.

If You Don’t Know What You Want, No One Can Help You Get It. No One.

It's shocking to me how many musicians, artists and entrepreneurs don't know what they want from their lives OR their careers. Yet they have no idea why the people they're working with aren't helping them get it. They don't understand why they are frustrated and unhappy. Why they are working their asses off but don't feel like they're making any progress. It sounds kind of big and scary, but it's pretty simple when you boil it all down:

  1. Decide what you want from your life.
  2. Design a career that is a means to that end.
  3. Create a plan to build that career.
  4. Put it all on paper.
  5. Put together the team to put that plan into action.

Most people start at #5. Seriously. It's kind of absurd. And a lot of really successful people start at #2. So they build an amazing career and have a life that isn't anything like what they wanted. Oops! Skip any of those steps or do them in the wrong order and you're just spinning your wheels... hoping for a result that no one else even knows you want. And that sucks for you AND for them.

P.S. If you don't know how to do that, hire me. I do.  = )