Do Looks Matter in the Music Industry?

by Matt @ Kurb on November 23, 2009

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There was a post recently on Music Marketing questioning the extent to which looks matter in the music industry.

I suppose it was a bit coy because we all know it does. Beautiful people help to glamourise a brand and this has always been employed to create appeal to a certain target – which happens to be the same target that spends the most money on music and supporting musicians.

I tried to compress my answer but the main point I wanted to make is that online your brand has the potential to reach far and wide to find an audience. You don’t have to be beautiful to build a brand, but specifically the values you portray through your brand has to resonate with your fans, whoever and wherever they are.

People who love pop stars probably prefer people who are traditionally attractive to fill that role, but if your music’s not for the mainstream, then your fans probably prescribe to a whole different set of values that may not be related to how slim and good looking you are.

It’s all about how you articulate your brand and whether that resonates with an audience you can engage to the poin tthat they will support you financially.

This is what I said, I’m not sure if the comment went through the system to get published:

When I talk to clients about branding I say think about your brand as a character in a movie. If you’re extremely attractive, then it’s going to be easy for you to play the part of the hero in the story who everybody loves. But you don’t HAVE to be attractive to be in the story, to build a brand as a musician, just as if a movie was full of just attractive people it would be boring and it wouldn’t be a real. It wouldn’t be authentic.

If you’re not especially attractive there’s still a role for you to play, but it had better be one that’s interesting and memorable for other reasons.

At the same time, from a branding perspective, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with musicians using their appearance to their advantage. The young kids who support this industry are looking for somebody who can capture their attention and inspire them and someone who’s sexually confident, alluring and powerful is always going to resonate with young people.

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