Thursday, July 3, 2008

Swoosh! Brands and Bands

Greetings from the second floor of an office building. I'm sitting in my teaching studio right now, on a break.
I assure you that I could land a job with a major retailer anywhere, and always walk the line when a cop asks me. I'm Mr. Clean, and I pride myself on that. But I really should be a drug addict. I'm weird. I'm hyper sometimes, and spaced others. And I get the munchies.

Rustling around for a bite to eat today, I found some insight as well.

So, courtesy of Mrs. W., my adopted "grandmother from anotha motha" (she's African American), we get our lesson today.

She gave me some instant microwavable Uncle Ben's rice. That particular brand has always held a special place in my heart, as I have an Uncle Ben. But the rice vendor must be related to Mrs. W., because he sure don't look like my Uncle Ben...But I digress...

Man, Rice Baron knocked me off my feet today. I was reading the directions on how to cook the stuff. Check out step four, it's deep:

Remove
from microwave using Cool Touch area on untorn side.

WOW! Do you know what the cool touch area is? It's just part of the bag! But they've got a cool graphic, and a logo.

Holy smokes! That's Branding.

I'm impressed. They took an unused part of a container, and made it an icon. Well, almost.
Branding fascinates me, as you can probably tell. Poodleman, The Doghouse, The Cosmic Chuck, you name it. Perhaps I should work on Madison Avenue creating ads for shoes. However, as much as I like shoes, I really like guitar better. (Well, perhaps if they're those lime green wrestling shoes...)

But the point is: Branding is creative, slick, and innovative. When the principles of packaging are applied correctly, they can take over the world, and even lead folks into forty grand worth of credit card debt. (Hey, what's in your wallet?)

Minus the debt, I see a striking similarity between a great brand and a great band. Creative, slick, and innovative.

Moreover, us musicians would do well to learn from the cats on Madison. They can sell stuff. Can we? Guess what - it's fun! This is not to trivialize your music into bubblegum pop junk. Nope. Hey, Bird has a great brand. "Inventor of Bebop - Yardbird." Miles is just weird, and brilliant. His "customers" consider themselves the elite, the hip. *coughcough* Coach.

Bob Marley's Freedom Farm- We got jah weed 'n lice 'n freedom jah!

Ozzy Osbourne - "Bats! They're **** grrrrreat!"

What's your brand?

1 comment:

Dakota said...

This is some excellent advice for any musician. I've actually been thinking about this exact thing for a while now and trying to figure out what my "brand" is. Your blog has let me think more clearly about it.