Visual Branding Can Be A Powerful Marketing Tool For Caribbean Artistes
Visual Branding can take the marketing strategies of Caribbean artistes to a whole new level.
Less than 10 seconds. That is the average attention span of humans these days. Close to that of a gold fish. With the proliferation of social media and the explosion of information available on the internet, it has become an undeniable challenge to hold anyone’s attention for any extended period of time. That my friend, creates a special type of hell for marketing professionals. We were already challenged enough trying to fit messages into industry mandated fifteen (15) and thirty (30)-second ad spots. Now, we have less than ten seconds of time to communicate why you should choose one brand over another? WTH!
Thankfully, our brave new digitized world has opened up a space where creatives can use visuals and images to develop connections and serve as brand reminders with audiences. That is the place where creative marketing professionals play. They create visual identities and brands for the people, products and services that they are promoting. Nike has the swoosh. Apple has ,well an apple. Those are two powerful examples of visuals that communicate a brand promise, nothing else needed.
In the music world, artistes tend to engage the visual branding tactic primarily with album covers. But, what if Caribbean artistes were able to extend the concept and integrate it into a larger marketing strategy for both their music and overall branding strategies? There are a few astute Caribbean artistes who have tapped into the concept of creating visual identities that connect with their fan base and keep them yearning for more.
WHAT IS VISUAL BRANDING?
At this point, you may be wondering, what exactly is the difference between a visual brand and a regular brand? Well according to JCI Marketing*;
A visual identity is the visual aspect of branding that businesses create in order to evoke the certain feelings and experiences with the brand.
- It includes anything visual that your brand produces such as logo design, fonts, photos, and any other visuals that you use to communicate your brand.
Your brand is made up of everything tangible and intangible that create the overall experience that someone has when they hear about or interact with your brand.
- This includes your visual identity, tone of voice, your brand promise, and the overall essence of your brand. *
So now that we know what it is, how do we actually bring the concept to life?
Well let’s start with a stroll down memory lane. Scroll through your archives and try to remember any one in the music industry (and their associated visuals) that come to mind without much effort on your part? It can be an album cover, logo or even merchandise. Any visual that easily identifies who the artiste is, even if you may not necessarily remember all of their music. Whoever comes to mind is an example of a Caribbean artiste who tapped into the power of visual branding. It’s a worthy investment in a world of limited time and attention spans. Here are our Top Five tips on ways to implement a visual branding strategy.
EASY TO UNDERSTAND
- It’s the beauty and curse of a creative mind. We see the world differently and express what we see differently. While that gift can differentiate us from the norm, it also sometimes makes it difficult for us to connect with the other mere mortals we are surrounded by. But simplicty is king in the visual branding world. Your visual identity should not be complicated. When too many elements are included it can easily confuse your audience. A good rule of thumb is to remove everything from your visual identity that does not contribute to your brand persona.*
- The only way visual branding works effectively is when it is consistent enough for your audience to start making connections with it. When your audience can associate certain images and marks with your brand without having to think too much about it; you are well on the way to creating a strong visual brand. Many artistes have several different images circulating that are meant to represent their brand. However the lack of consistency defeats the purpose and creates confusion in the minds of their target audience. Choose a key identifier or two and stick to it. Have that image represented on any and everything that speaks of your brand and music. With enough consistency and frequency, your audience will connect quickly and associate it with you. When that happens, most of your hard work is done.
IS RELATABLE TO YOUR AUDIENCE
- Your visual brand impacts how customers perceive and understand your business.** But you can’t know how customers will respond to your visuals until you know who they are. It is definitely a worthwhile endeavour to take some time to understand who your core audience is and what part of your musical brand most resonates with them.
CREATES A STATEMENT ABOUT YOUR PERSONALITY
- Once you understand who your audience is and what you have to offer, the challenge becomes the how. How do you present your personality visually? In our heavily digitized world, many brands face the challenge of expressing personality without actually interacting face to face.**
CAN SUPPORT A BROADER MARKETING STRATEGY
- Having a distinguishable visual brand is only one part of the equation. Integrating that visual into a broader marketing strategy is where the money is. A relatable visual can be translated into merchandise, events and other money generating tactics. Have a clear strategy and weave your brand representation into it.
Less than ten seconds. That is all you have. How are you going to create an unforgettable mark that resonates with your audience, builds brand equity and creates income streams. It may be time to put that graphic designer on your team to work.
SOUND OFF: Name a Caribbean artiste that you think has a strong visual branding strategy?
MISSION: To elevate the brand of Caribbean culture in the fields of MUSIC, BUSINESS and the ARTS by celebrating the work of cultural ambassadors while advocating for upcoming Caribbean talent1.