You have a brand whether you like it or not. Musicians, businesses, You, Me; we all have a brand. Think of your brand as what people think of you. A brand is in everything that your customers, fans and friends experience when they look, see, smell, hear and/or taste things having to do with you. Creating and maintaining a great brand isn’t an overnight, one-time job. It takes persistent, hard work. So whether you want to deal with it or not, your brand exists and you shouldn’t neglect it or hide from it.
Too many businesses (and people) just don’t pay attention to their brand. Users and potential customers/fans are savvy these days and in this connected world we live in, their brand experiences, both good and bad, can travel the social scene quickly so it’s very important to put your best foot forward at all times (and sooner rather than later). People have all sorts of excuses for not updating or creating a quality brand but the two most popular seem to be cost and time. While cost can be prohibitive for smaller companies, musicians and start ups, with a little time and effort, some cost factors can be reduced. Creating a solid game plan for your brand, doing research and gathering artistic and creative direction will greatly help when you take your project to a design company. Even if your budget is very tight, you can usually find someone to help. You typically get what you pay for and you may not have exactly what you want on a budget but a decent looking website and logo is vastly better than a freebee created by someones nephew, especially if you have well composed and accessible content. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you can accomplish a lot with some searching online. If you have any budget at all, it never hurts to call a local design company to see what the general costs might be for logo and/or website design. Most should be able to give you rough numbers no problem.
Just as important as budget is the time devoted to your project. The time needed to create a great brand is something that should not be underestimated. Even if you’re paying a design agency to create and/or maintain your brand, you should be thoroughly involved. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of doing business at the expense of letting your brand suffer. A good designer will take your artistic direction and create designs based on their own research and experience. While the designers will be doing most of the heavy lifting, it’s important to stay on top of feedback and other requirements from the designer to keep the project rolling and fresh. There’s nothing worse than letting a project sit and get stale for weeks or even months.
Regardless of available time and money, you should focus as much of both as possible toward your brand, especially in the beginning. Your initial investment of time and effort will pay dividends down the road. People today are savvy and they know the difference between a good looking brand and one that feels like it’s been piecemeal-ed together. So don’t get too wrapped up in the day-to-day and hide from your brand behind your business.