Talking Rebranding and Tribe Building with Music. Marketing. Management

by Matt @ Kurb on November 27, 2008

Matt Turner from kurb does online promotion for musicians, youtube video promotion and small business marketing. He blogs on music promotion at Music. Marketing. Management. Contact kurbpromo@gmail.com

Okay I’ve been thinking about this rebranding thing a lot.

Why are we talking about rebranding?

Because artists, creative people and entrepreneurs are coming into this online space using online tools, building websites, social networking, blogging, putting out free high value content, building email lists and developing new high value propositions.

They’re doing all the online marketing I’ve been doing for the last few years, because they see people like me and know that it is possible, they’re looking to join the dots to create digital music revenue, and so they’re throwing everything into making a new model work.

And then suddenly after years of building content, using solid online promotion methods, struggling and providing users and fans alike with value and leveraging online audiences and environments  . . . what happens when the new model does work?

You reach the point that I have. That you’re doin’ alright. That you’ve made it work, you’ve made something of this mad digital music realm, and you’ve established yourself and you could continue to do well in your own little way.

And you might reach the same conclusion that I have. It’s great to have got somewhere struggling to do this and put it together, to forge a jagged new path . . . but what if we actually started doing this properly?

What if I started taking this stuff seriously? You might find yourself in same position I am that you say okay it’s great that we can earn a living and that people appreciate what we do, but now that we’ve put food on the table isn’t it time to start thinking about the bigger picture?

Rebranding isn’t a revenue strategy.

It’s probably going to cost to have better looking videos, a more professional website and blog design. To have a professional standard of art and video and offer functionality, features and usability that are fresh. To build strong stories with powerful writing and video making.

I’ve talked about the content crisis – “a survival of the fittest” in digital content, raising your standard and attempting to give your user base more is a long term strategy to connect authentically with an ever narrower niche who are particularly responsive to your message: Your Tribe.

You built your music to a this point based on a brand, based on a message in your content. Now it’s time to start refining that message into a powerful story, a story that will resonate and motivate members of your tribe.

A tribe is a group you belong to with which you share common values. You can connect, participate and/or lead. This is what rebranding is about. It’s not about being like Madonna and reinventing yourself, although it could be for some artists; It’s about a response to the these converging trends in digital culture.

When I’m talking about rebranding I’m not just talking about a makeover. I’m talking about showing leadership pertaining to the values shared amongst your target niche, that engage them and motivate them, that connect and bond them to you.

It’s not about change for the sake of it, it’s about refining and developing your brand, your message, in a modern way with the new technology you have available to do so.

Marketing and branding is a deeper part of the value an artist provides than ever before. Marketing stories are now narratives, artists are protagonists, our heroes, are characters playing out stories and messages that represent what ever more complex networks of fragmented fanbases value.

See the whole rebranding thing for me is about embracing social media and web 2.0 maturely and intelligently.

We’ve had myspace. We’ve had the photoshopping and the messed up custom profiles. We have youtube sitting there ubiquitous in the online video space, the mammoth in the room that won’t go away.

We learnt how to engage with users/fans/audience.

We learnt that people are looking for connection, for gratification, that have choices and they want to engage in a way that’s personally meaningful, they want to participate.

We now have the guru’s, the experts telling you how new marketing and branding should be done, information is free and it’s everywhere, it’s now time for artists and entrepreneurs alike to make sense of this environment, make sense of this information and make sense of the role their content plays.

That is rebranding, using the digital means now available to anyone who’s reading this to create a more powerful message.

I’m going to talk more about specifics in some future posts, but we’re obviously talking about video and youtube . . .  websites, blogs – we’ve been talking about using this technology to build revenue for awhile now. Technology is only as good as the purpose it’s used for, so now we’re talking about this technology helping us to really articulate to our fans and audience . . . to lead your tribe, to be an “ideas leader” and bring fans and audiences and uses along with you.

Building a brand and articulating it is often about refining to make sure the message is getting through to your audience. Obviously I don’t know how much longer and can go on without breaking down some examples.

I’m an entrepreneur, I’m a musician, I’m a writer.

I want to be successful in business, I want to connect with people and be afforded approval and recognition, and I also want to achieve creative connectivity.

So in the next post hopefully I’ll getting stuck into how I want to rearticulate my brand so that the messages I want to connect with my audience are authentic and meaningful.

Matt Turner from kurb does online promotion for musicians, youtube video promotion and small business marketing. He blogs on music promotion at Music. Marketing. Management. Contact kurbpromo@gmail.com

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