Thinking of ways to increase your visibility in the vast music marketplace? Visual branding is a good place to start.
As the co-founder of Tunedly, I have come face to face with the topic recently. Thank you to Symphonic Distribution for giving me the opportunity to share my two cents. Let’s get right into it.
Why is Visual Branding Important?
To answer this question, try imagining yourself as a regular business to customer (B2C) entity. Like a company, you are creating a product (your music) to offer to consumers, in the hope that enough of them will care enough to spend their money on what you are offering, so that you can make a living.
To stand out, this is where visual branding often comes in. People are highly visual creatures. Sight has always been one of the most used senses – from studying the stars to determine direction back in prehistoric times, to looking at the physical attributes of a person or thing in order to measure health, beauty, size, etc.
In addition, images are just easier to remember. In fact, studies show that humans remember as little as 10% of a piece of information three days after hearing it, but will retain 65% or more if the information is in the form of an image.
The recent rebranding of my company, which has now been launched as Tunedly, raised several questions about how the new platform should look. The process was rather challenging; from defining our new identity, to coming up with the right color combinations, deciding on a layout, choosing a logo and images that accurately represented our messaging and vision. It took many brainstorming sessions, countless mock-ups, and many re-dos to get the visuals right.
I am not saying that doing all of the above automatically ensures success; after all, substance trumps outward appearances every time. But visually-appealing content helps to sell the substance, in my opinion.
How do you want to be seen?
The way you present your music to your audience has to fall in line with your overall brand. Do you want your band to be seen as cool, friendly, futuristic, traditional, romantic, modern, optimistic? Those are just a few adjectives to consider when creating your visual message. Once you decide what it is, it is a recommended practice to remain consistent with the visual content you use going forward, from your CD covers and website banner, to your Facebook cover photo and YouTube channel thumbnail (if you use all those platforms).
How to enhance your visual branding
Based on my experience with working on Tunedly, here are a few takeaways that I hope will help you create a successful visual branding strategy.
✓ Have a Logo
A logo, while optional, can be a good visual branding puzzle piece. Artists who use it successfully, Daft Punk, for instance, do so to imprint a particular message about what their music stands for. If you absolutely want to go with a logo like Daft Punk does (theirs is called a “punk patch” and represents the patches that punk bands sometimes stitch their names on), keep the following in mind: A logo is one of the simplest but most profound ways to represent your band’s image, both online and offline. Whether you use a simple text graphic or an actual image, you may want to ensure that it is professionally made. It is preferable to have it in more than one version with a transparent background that you can resize for use on different items.
✓ Hire a Professional Photographer
You might want to have one or two high quality images of you or your band that you use consistently online. Eye-tracking studies show that visitors to websites spend more time looking at real, high-quality images than bio information and other texts. At the end of the day, you decide what matters most to you.
✓ Decide on a Color Palette
Pick two or three colors that you are comfortable with to represent your brand visually online. You might need to try different color combinations before getting it right. The colors could complement each other in some way, as well as capture the feel and style of your music. Once you have found your colors, use them throughout your website and social pages, as well as for web banners, and your logo.
✓ Make Use of Social Media
The most popular social media platforms make it easy for you to express your brand visually. The big three – Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – see millions of images and videos being shared daily, so you might want to make sure all your visuals are shared on at least one of these platforms with your followers. SoundCloud, YouTube, and other music-sharing platforms, are ideal to share thumbnails of an album cover or logo, but once again, only if you already have profiles on these platforms.
From my experience, spending time to craft an effective visual branding strategy could be one solution to help increase your visibility.
With that said, what works for one person may not necessarily work for you; we are all different, with unique strengths, goals, and outlooks. Nevertheless, I hope you were able to find a helpful takeaway from this article. Wishing you great success!