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  • AutorenbildDr. Johannes Ripken

7 crucial characteristics of artist and human brands

Aktualisiert: 12. Aug. 2019

Brand management has a large impact on artist development, because every artist in the music industries can and should be seen, managed and marketed as a brand. The strength and reputation of the brand are significant for the success of music products, as music is an experience. This means that consumers are not able to assess product quality before they consume it.

In addition, the current oversupply of artists and advertising messages requires distinctive artist and music brands. Well-known brands receive more attention from potential customers. Keeping the consumers’ attention is a more difficult task in today’s saturated media environment. It requires the understanding and management of music artists and companies as brands in order to increase the chance to attract and retain the attention and preference of the consumers.

It is not only important to focus on a coherent, clear identity of the brand or artist, but also to keep an eye on the public perception and reputation of the brand. Connections to corporate identity management are strong because it is an important task to create the best possible match between brand identity and image by successfully positioning the identity on the target market and communicating its characteristics.

It is definitely easier to define and position one’s own identity rather than trying to influence or change the image afterwards. Special attention should therefore be paid to the former.

Dann and Jensen published a scientific article on brands in the entertainment industry in 2007, naming seven important characteristics of artist brands:

1. Competence

For a successful brand development process, artists must have characteristics such as reliability, a sense of responsibility and efficiency, and must of course ensure high quality in their musical work. If these components are not right, there is no foundation for a sustainable artistic career. Reliability, sense of responsibility and efficiency are personal characteristics. Without musical competence no great songs can be created.

2. Excitement

For the recipient, no matter whether fan, media partner or cooperation partner, the artist must emanate a certain excitement. The artist must be exciting. The identification factor also plays a role here. With reference to a 1997 study by Aaker, Dann and Jensen describe the ‘excitement’ as daring, spirited, imagination and innovation, which diversifies artist brands of others.

3. Sophistication

In some genres, artists should have a certain glamour and charm. The positive side transports the celebrity and idol status, which is helpful for building a fan base that identifies with the brand. But it is also a balancing act not to be perceived as arrogant or superior.

4. Popularity

With this attribute the artists can achieve a friendly and popular image with their fanbase. Therefore, artists ideally work on the image of being both a ‘friend’ and in some way unattainable to their fans.

5. Affection

Affection describes the attribute of being likeable as an artist and having a close connection to the fanbase. The artist should have a certain affection for his fans, e. g. in the form of Meet and Greet’s or shared photos with fans.

6. Sincerity

Sincerity refers to the authenticity of the artist. He should deal with his fans in an honest, original, friendly and positive manner and should not represent a different image that he cannot maintain in the long run.

7. Ruggedness

The music and media industries are a ‘shark tank’. To survive and perform successfully, the artists must be mentally strong and tough. They have to cope with setbacks and must not be diverted from their path by failure or criticism.

The democratisation of music production, distribution and promotion, which leads to increasing global competition, makes it difficult for individual artists to be successful. It is therefore the goal to deliver better product quality than the competition, but at the same time the emotional bond in global competition is becoming more and more relevant. These emotional aspects are mainly strengthened by brand development.

It is therefore important to deal with the topic of brand management and to understand and manage the artist, but also other personalities, as a brand.


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