Build a stronger brand and boost awareness by partnering with the right artists.
You have a product line that’s lagging in sales. It was a big hit at one time, but now it’s barely turning a profit. Do you shut it down or find a way to revive it by breathing fresh life into it?
That’s where an artist endorsement can help. Choose the right guitarist, band, drummer, keyboardist, etc. and properly use them in your marketing, and it could raise the visibility of a neglected product while bringing back sales. Done correctly, it could help forge stronger, new connections to your audience and find new players.
So how do you choose the right artist? Four words to consider: familiarity, relevance, esteem and differentiation.
Familiarity is key because your target audience should be aware of your artist or the endorsement is wasted. They need to have some visibility in the music industry and come with a good-sized, built-in audience.
Relevance is crucial because there needs to be a strong, obvious tie-in to the product or brand. They play your instrument or use your gear. They are musically aligned with your brand. They also appeal to your target. Important side note: As you can see, understanding who your audience is, what makes them tick and what gets them excited are at the heart of finding the right artist.
Esteem simply means that your artist should be accomplished and held in some regard by the wider music community. It’s tempting to find an up-and-coming band or a solo artist with a small following and not a ton of success to save money, but don’t. You’ll just waste resources.
Differentiation is important because the artist has to bring something to the table that helps you separate your product from your competitors’. They have an unusual sound, an interesting backstory, a different way of playing or using your product—something that helps them to stand out and, in turn, set your product apart from the rest of the field.
One way to find the right artists to play and represent your product is to start a program to showcase new and established talent. For example, if a rising country band plays your guitar, sign them to a program where you provide instruments and, in turn, they play your instrument when they appear live. In return, your company promotes their music, TV appearances and upcoming tour dates on your website and in your social media marketing.
This type of program can help up-and-coming artists attract a bigger following, get more exposure and play good, quality instruments. It helps established artists get the word out about their new song or album. It will help you by getting your product in front of live audiences and using artists for advertising and other marketing initiatives.
A quick word about using artists in advertising—don’t just shoot a photo of an artist with your instrument and stick your logo on it. Music magazines are full of these empty executions. Take time to figure out how to use your artist in a creative, interesting way. Write a headline that ties together your instrument or gear to the artist’s music. Give it some context, and make it work harder than just an expected photo.
Remember, if the rest of your marketing program is in good shape and you’re doing the right things to build awareness, build your brand and drive sales, then using celebrities can be effective. Just make sure you get the right artists.