What Is Branding? A Guide for Independent Musicians

What is Branding?

One word that is often associated with marketing is Branding. What is a brand? If you ask most people, they’ll tell you that branding is about your colors, product names and logo. These people are wrong. Let’s look a little closer at what makes up your brand.

Branding vs. Identity

While your logo, name and company colors are important, they aren’t the only thing that make up your brand. These components make up your identity. Marks like these make it easy for your customers to recognize you among everyone else in the crowd. For example, the combination of Orange and Yellow make it easy for me to spot Reese’s products among all the other chocolate bars on the candy aisle. Alone, the colors mean nothing; but because they are used consistently in Reese’s packaging and advertisements, we subconsciously associate the colors with the brand of candy. Your colors and logo are just the exterior. What’s in the heart of a brand?

The Heart of Your Brand

The heart of a brand is who you are at your core. Your mission. Your values. Those values guide the actions you take, and thus, all the things potential customers will recognize you for. Once you decide who you are, it is much easier to decide what opportunities you will pursue. At KDMR Music, our mission is to empower artists to build the music careers of their dreams with real advice that will give them real results. Because our mission is real results, you won’t see us recommending tactics that only get you short term success. If a potential podcast guest doesn’t want to give real advice, we won’t interview them. Even though the mediums may change (podcasts, blog posts, videos), our message and mission never will. We want you to have a long career in music without having to sacrifice your sanity or your values.

Let’s use an artist as an example and look at Eminem. Eminem came into the Hip Hop world as a minority. A white man making music that was traditionally black. He plays the underdog role and everything about his music speaks to that. His biggest songs (Lose Yourself, Not Afraid) reinforce the idea of fighting against the odds until you a accomplish your goals.

Eminem’s image communicates the same thing.He doesn’t wear flashy clothes or jewelry. When you see him, he looks like he’s still fighting his way out of 8 Mile in Detroit. He looks like his back is against the ropes and its him against the world. Because Eminem has been feeding us his underdog message for so long, we associate his wardrobe with those same feelings.


Your brand isn’t just about what you look like. It’s about who you are at your core. Your brand determines the colors you wear, the sounds you use in your music, and every other decision you will make in your career. If you want to learn more about branding and the role is plays in your overall marketing; check out my book, The Music Marketing Guidebook. You can download a free sample chapter below.