NARIP markets & monetizes music | Learn Network Access Opportunity

Top Tips For Music Brand Success

By Heidi Richman
November 19, 2008

NARIP invited Heidi Richman, a marketer who has created successful promotions with music across various industries, to contribute her tips for music-brand success to our recent “Bands, Brands & Beyond” Expo. Click link below to read her tips.

Photo (L-R): Yes, Dear Entertainment artist manager Jolene Pellant, producer-artist-label owner Caroline Waters of Redhead Records, and HRMP Lifestyle Marketing & Promotion’s Heidi Richman.  Photo by Justin Winokur.
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Look for compatibility, not just obvious things like demographic or typical things you’d look at in a normal business paradigm. Go deeper. The more compatibility you have across the board with a brand, the better, including personality meshes, corporate culture and the like. This goes beyond items on a spreadsheet. Look for companies and brands that think like you (the artist or artist rep) do. Look at the people within those companies and their corporate culture. Is the way you conduct business as an artist compatible with the culture of that brand and ad agency?

Matching Goals

Goals of the brand and artist must match. Be clear on what you want out of such a partnership or business relationship.  Discuss and agree how to arrive at these goals. Manage expectations.

Make sure timelines are compatible.

Most major brands have long gestation periods, it may take one to two years before an artist can be worked into a brand’s marketing plan and begin to see results. The sooner you initiate your relationship with the brand, the better.

How and where does the artist fit into the brand’s budget?

Understanding this is key.

Understand how brands function as a business.
When you see a brand’s marketing message out in the marketplace, consider how that brand markets and how can you best fit into that? This is key, especially if an artist wants to get resources from a brand. The bigger the brand, the more time it takes to tap into those resources. Indie bands and artists are not used to long timelines. Also, with bigger money, there are usually discretionary funds, toward end of fiscal year there may be some “use it or lose it money” which is great for one-offs and events, but is less useful for long development. Start shopping early!

Be able to articulate your artistry in the language of a brand.

You must be able to talk demographics and numbers, and be clear about what you can do that will make sense for the brand. Translate any previous successes into numbers that make sense for the brand, i.e., a great review you received recently generated 20,000 twitters and this created a rush on your Web site and a download increase of 50% within a 2-week time frame. In Brand World, numbers talk, so quantify whenever possible.

Do your homework.

Read the trades and blogs associated with the types of band / brand deals you want to pursue. Be knowledgeable about all the current brand application / extension deals. Who’s getting in bed with whom? For how long? Has there been a regime or agency change that may affect deal perspective or orientation?

About The Author

Acclaimed “Rock Band Couturier” (Details Magazine) turned “Marketing Diva” (LA Weekly), Heidi Richman has impacted what you wear, the music you listen to, & how & where you do both, for 25+ years. Thrilled when lifestyle marketing became a recognized discipline, this Smith alum’s taste-making track record has made her the go-to gal for innovative experiential & cultural branding. With a spot-on read of the paradigm shift within the music industry, she launched HRMP six years ago as a way to provide a 360-degree brand / band / retail / technology interface. She is a frequent speaker/guest lecturer, a practice she plans to further ramp up after her upcoming E! special, & publication of her book, Rock & Roll Graduate School. For a complete client roster and applicable case studies, please contact Heidi at heidi AT heidirichman DOT com.

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NARIP Program Audio Available
MP3 audio recordings of sessions from NARIP’s Bands, Brands & Beyond Expo are available in NARIP’s Store Online.  Includes a 27-page handout with 5 music-brand case studies (Groove Armada / Bacardi, TAG Records / Proctor & Gamble, Vanity, Kim Crawford Wines, AARP / Tony Bennett), 4 articles,and  a directory of companies that organize and broker music-brand deals.  Click here to buy now.