Brand Your Business Like a Rock Star

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By Jason Knapfel

I spent most of my 20s and much of my 30s either in bands, running a fledgling record label, or simply being a complete music nut. One of the challenges associated with the first of those three was how to come up with a band name that not only didn’t embarrass us, but somehow conveyed something in the music we made.

Ultimately, the quality of a name is subjective. Even if the one you come up with has no direct meaning or is really kinda silly, if the music you create is superb and connects with your target audience, you have the power to transform something silly into something that is revered. How else can you explain such earnest and well-respected artists calling themselves Echo & The Bunnymen, Smashing Pumpkins, or Death Cab For Cutie?

What’s all this have to do with your business? Read on…

Sympathy for the Devil (in the Details)

While branding in the broadest sense is the identity of your business, the devil is in the details. Here are a few ways you can take what rock stars do in branding themselves (even if they don’t do so consciously) and incorporate it into whatever business you are in – even if it is just a little less glamorous.

Marky Mark Re-Branded As a Metal God
Marky Mark Re-Branded As a Metal God

Music Is In Our DNA (At Least Mine, Anyway)

Music made by the bands or artists we love most leave an indelible mark. A song can instantly bring us back to a moment in our lives. It has immediate emotional influence, lifting our spirits when we’re having a bad day.

When people see or hear anything related to your business, whether it’s your logo or product itself, what kind of impression does it leave?

The Internet is Your Stage, Social Media the Microphone (Or Something Like That)

What is your voice? The tone of your content messaging sets the stage for how people will perceive you. Are you whimsical, quirky, or cutting edge, or is it a no-nonsense delivery more appropriate for your brand? Decide and build your image upon it, through your website and the various methods you reach your customers online.

Make People Want to Be Like You (Or With You)

Music, especially in our youth, is like a badge of honor. It’s how we are identified and who we’d like to be. No matter what industry you’re in, take careful measures to ensure your customers want to be associated with the products or services you provide.

The Best Musicians in History Create a Niche

What do The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Queen, The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd and U2 all have in common? Musically, not a ton. However, they all created music that not only connected with vast numbers of people across all cultures, but they are all still relevant decades after they began and likely will be for many decades to come.

The reason is twofold. They have created stacks of great music. But even if any of them don’t strike your fancy, it’s an undisputed fact that they each created their own niche with innovative music that influenced hordes of musicians after them. Have you identified what separates you from your competition? If you have, and you deliver a quality product, you are well on your way to a lasting success. However…

Long-Term Success Comes From Within

It’s also worth noting that the aforementioned artists are timeless because they made music for themselves first, rather than grabbing onto a fleeting fad or targeting a market. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, Bob Dylan “went electric,” brandishing his Fender Stratocaster to the dismay of many an outraged folkie. One man shouted “Judas.” Dylan went on to be one of the most revered and influential artists in rock history.

While identifying your target market in the business world is absolutely essential, doing so based on false pretenses will doom you to failure. In other words, be passionate and true to your vision, otherwise it will be your eventual undoing.

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