These days musical artists are more than just singers, rappers, musicians, or performers. They make up a brand and must treat everything they do as a promotion of that brand. From their public persona to how they launch albums, they have to market their every move.
The 59th Annual Grammy Awards aired Sunday, February 12th and the nominees for Album of the Year showed us just how seriously they take their brand. Their ability to sell is what makes them buzzworthy and ultimately, is what keeps them in business.
You may not be Queen Bey or have droves of fans with Bieber fever, but you can get your own target audience excited about your brand by following a few of their tricks.
Quality Over Quantity
Ever notice how Adele comes out with one mega-hit song and then, slowly fades away only to resurface after years out of the limelight? That’s because her voice literally speaks for itself. She has the chops to back up her brand and when she’s ready to deliver, she goes full force into promo mode.
Her Grammy-nominated album, 25, has sold 8.03 million copies as of February 4, 2017. It was her first album since the launch of her 21 album in 2011, one that earned her Album of the Year in 2012. Billboard also named her Artist of the Year in 2011, 2012, and 2016. She doesn’t put out music just for the sake of consistency. She is thoughtful with the production and promotion to gain the most value from it.
Brand takeaway: While consistency is good, quality is better. Set realistic deadlines that allow time for planning, creativity, production, and refinement.
Never Settle for Mediocrity
No one has more power over her own brand than Beyoncé. She has created such a loyal following throughout the past decade and a half that there are millions of people following her every move. Because of these high expectations, she has to up the ante every once in awhile to keep people excited and engaged.
Her HBO-exclusive, music-film mashup – Lemonade – delivered her new album in a fresh, innovative way. She controlled the story and direction of where she wanted the music to take her fans and as a result, she has another multi-million dollar record under her belt. She brings her A-game every single time through rigorous planning and flawless execution.
People go crazy for Beyoncé because she never rests on her laurels. And, because of this attention to detail, she has the magic touch. After all, it’s not every day a chain restaurant receives a seemingly overnight 33% spike in sales, which is exactly what happened through the power of Queen B.
Brand takeaway: Don’t let poor planning and poor execution make your campaigns “good enough.” If you don’t show excitement and innovation through your brand, how can you expect your clients to?
Create Valuable Partnerships
One of the hardest working artists in the industry right now is Drake. Not only did he deliver what some critics are calling “one of the biggest hip-hop albums of all time” with Views, he partnered with a long list of other A-list musical artists, including Rihanna, DJ Khaled, and J. Lo to keep his name, his music, and his brand front and center among several different fanbases throughout 2016.
By creating powerful partnerships, he didn’t limit his brand promotion to his album alone, but attached his name to other successful artists, which increased his reach, engagement, and led to the likelihood of him gaining new fans.
Brand takeaway: Partner with people and companies that you respect for relevant collaborations that will open doors for new business, whether that means fans, conversions, sales, or signups.