Thursday, October 22

Hype is Everything, Sales are Nothing, but you want to create a BRAND?

By: Desiree Williams, "That Retail Chick"

Welcome to the new music industry. Where everybody is somebody, anybody can make it, hype is everything, and sales mean nothing! That is until your 1st week numbers come in. Then the truth comes out and everybody is talking about your "epic fail." Everyone includes bloggers, industry execs, and your fans (who by the way used to not care about first week numbers...but since everybody is in the music business now...).

My big wig industry friend says "Retail Chick you are thinking old music industry instead of new music industry!" OK...I do realize that there are many ways for artists to get paid in this business and album sales are not always one of them if you are on a label. But now the new term among the urban music scene is BRANDING. However we are behind; rock & pop artist have been doing it for years. As a matter of fact they are great at it.

Rappers on the other hand want to brand a song, artist, record label, studio, producer, and clothing line, all at the same time. But first let me ask you...what's the name of your single again???

Now, since "BRANDING" is the new get money term among the urban music industry "professionals" these days, I got a little secret for ya. That new word "BRANDING" sits right up there with marketing and has a lot to do with sales. And since this is the MUSIC BUSINESS, the focus should be on making a song and an album that is going to be big enough for you to make yourself a household name first. The branding comes after you have proven that you have the ability to make A LOT of people like you and your music so much that they will go to stores (physically or digitally) and buy your product.

(Oh...and just for the record mix tape sales don't count here because you probably forgot to put a barcode on it and make that mix tape sale count when you were hot and at the top of your game!)

But if you are in the beginning phase of your career and want to see how effective your brand is I'll tell you what to do. Stick your logo, name, or song title on something then attach a price tag to it! If that doesn't work, your branding efforts were not effective, because your hot single on the radio was only good for show money, at which point no corporation needs you to be the face of their product, because unfortunately your music wasn't good enough or to sell your cd.

This is a public service announcement from your music retail fairy godmother...

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