Diary of a Hip Hop, Rap, and R&B Fan/Relentless Hustler…continuation…
Building Your Brand...
By Steve Clenor, BA, MSMS
Building a brand is the hardest thing for an artist and other industry hopefuls to do, but not impossible. What is a brand? It is defined as a unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product or entity and differentiates it from its competitors. Brands help harried consumers in crowded and complex marketplace, by standing for certain benefits and value. Now, that's a pretty good definition for the word. But, allow me to put my little spin on it. Simplest way I can explain what it means to me is to define it this way, "Your brand is whom you are or at least whom you are perceived to be by the outside world, consumers, and audience. It is what you use to tell your current and future consumers or fans what to expect from you and what your company is about. It is your promise to them and that they can trust to do business with you. It differentiates you from your competitors and others whom consider themselves your rivals. For example, fans of Drake and Meek Mill can expect different music from each of them. If you were to buy a Drake album, and all you hear is a replica of Meek Mill, you would surely be disappointed. Your brand tells your audience who you are, who you want to be and who others perceive you to be.
During the process of building yourself as a brand make sure your message gives out to your audience what you want them to receive. For instance, I post a new blog to this website every week (www.relentlesshustler.com), and while writing them, I make sure they relate to my struggle and keep them as true as possible. It is the essence of men and women to make themselves look better in the light than they look in the dark. Meaning, what most people choose to tell and show the world, usually is not whom they really are. A good friend of mines refer to this as, "sending out their representatives to greet the world, not themselves." The problem in doing this, I believe, is that eventually you'll get figured out for whom you really are. There's nothing worse than climbing to the top of the food chain with fame and fortune, and later you're discovered for a fraud and lose it all. Simply put, what you expose to the world, you're held to that. What and where you advertise is part of your brand, as well as what you communicate visually and verbally to your potential consumers is your brand representative. Don't put anything out to represent your brand (yourself) and not be able to answer for it should the questions come. No one should ever be confused about whom you are from seeing your social media (linkedin, twitter, instagram, pinterest, tumbler, facebook). Do not be one person on facebook and totally different on instagram, they should all represent you in the same way, and they are all very important to your success because your potential consumers will check.
Branding allows your potential fans/consumers to know you exist and what you have to offer. Social media has become an unstoppable force in our culture, but it can be used to better position yourself and your company. Be it a blog, facebook, instagram or twitter, take advantage of what they can do for you and your brand. They are able to help your brand to become known, to connect directly with your consumers/fans, and build relationships with people all over you would have never met, if not for social media. Be the brand that you say you are, and people will eventually catch on. Rarely, anything is given that's worth taking. In other words, you want something, go and get it. Stop blaming others and complaining about what you could be doing if given an opportunity. Make your own opportunity, and create the same for others.
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