“Yeah, this is the 10th time I’ve seen them play.”
I overhead this while waiting for a band to come up on stage. Interestingly enough, it’s not the first time. It got me thinking–how is it that these local bands gain such a passionate following? Especially when the promos and posters for each show they play represents them differently? (sometimes their name, sometimes a photo, sometimes a typographic logo) Then I realized… successful local bands are the best example of “Your brand is NOT your logo.”
Branding is usually not top of mind when start-up bands begin. They play for the love of music and do so without a thoughtful logo or look. So how does their audience grow without the consistency of a mark? The answer is through experiences. Let’s dive a little deeper and see what can be learned.
Be good at what you do.
Musicians love what they do and constantly reinvent themselves after each record. Just like a business, knowing everything about your product or service is just scratching the surface. The best brands continually and enthusiastically improve what they do. Take Domino’s, for example. After their rebrand in 2014, they’ve focused on using the digital space to appeal to a younger generation and market convenience. First it was being able to order your pizza by tweeting the pizza emoji. Now there’s a “Zero-Click” ordering app that makes getting your pizza even easier.
Make a connection…
Entertainers use a little banter between songs to connect with the audience and create a sense of community. In branding, that can be any touchpoint you have with your customer or client. Whether it’s a simple email exchange to collaborating on a larger project… make your audience feel like they’re part of something larger.
But make it memorable.
After most shows, you leave the venue elated, wanting to relive the experience by listening to the tracks on repeat and sharing the excitement with all of your friends. The same goes for a brand–creating these meaningful experiences have longevity when they make an impact. Remember my Samsung encounter at Lollapalooza? I still talk about how impressed I was with their setup, despite being an Apple consumer. These positive interactions lead to referrals and create informal brand ambassadors.
I say all this to reiterate: your brand is not your logo. Though a thoughtful logo will provide a recognizable visual for your audience, you mustn’t forget creating a unique experience and leaving a lasting impact. So work hard and rock on! :)