7 Disastrous Music Branding Mistakes Musician Brands Make And How to Fix Them

In today’s highly competitive music industry, lousy music branding simply doesn’t cut it anymore. However, many talented artists make the common mistake of seeing branding as unimportant, and not as essential, to their musical identity as actual music. This mentality doesn’t do any favours, as it actually hinders their career development, and prevents them from reaching their full potential. So what are some common artist branding mistakes musicians make? And how can they be fixed?

7 common music branding mistakes & solutions

Lack of consistency in artist branding

One of the biggest mistakes artists can make today is to have an inconsistent brand and an artist persona that’s all over the place. Inconsistent visuals – such as a different logo with every press release, social media captions with an unclear tone of voice, and a colour scheme that’s completely different with each gig poster – dilute your artistic identity.

To fix this, you need to make sure that your artist branding is one hundred percent coherent. You need to ensure that your visuals are consistent across all platforms, and conveys who you are as an artist.

Neglecting the importance of social media branding

When it comes to music branding, social media is undoubtedly one of the most important tools. Not only does it facilitate fan engagement, but it’s also a great way to showcase your brand to music industry professionals.

For many artists, social media can seem like an afterthought. However, it’s one of the most powerful tools out there when it comes to establishing your audience. Therefore, you should post regularly, engage with your audience, and use your social media analytics to see what kind of content resonates best with your audience.

Ignoring data and analytics

Sure – data and analytics are definitely not the reason why you got into music. However, they provide valuable insights into who your audience is, and how they engage with your work. Failure to track and analyse data from your website, streaming services and social media is a rookie mistake, as you miss crucial data that can help you up your game.

By analysing and understanding your data, you can use it to understand your audience demographics, which content works best, and the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Instead of throwing money at random music branding and advertising opportunities, data analysis helps you make informed decisions and invest money in things that actually deliver results.


Low-quality visual content

Nowadays, you really don’t have a valid excuse for low-quality images, graphics, and promotional material. Posting low-grade graphics is unacceptable, especially when we can take high-quality photos, and edit graphics, using our own smartphone.

Not having your branding game up to scratch may discourage music professionals from taking you seriously. Additionally, you will likely fail to capture your audience’s attention.

So, what’s the solution? Simple: Investing in a phone with a good camera goes a long way. In addition, it’s now easier than ever to learn how to use editing and graphic design software properly, with how-to guides and YouTube. This ensures that you consistently produce high-quality visuals that effectively represent your music and brand.

Overlooking the importance of live performances

Digital platforms are obviously important, especially in the social media-obsessed world in which we live today. However, when it comes to music branding, neglecting live performances is a missed opportunity to connect with your fans and really build on your branding in music and beyond.

Your stage presence, interactions with the crowd, and overall stage presence are essential factors that contribute to the holistic perception of your music brand. By elevating your performance through immersive experiences, such as stage design and interesting lighting, a dynamic set list, and surprise guests, you’ll keep things fresh, and encourage your fans to buy tickets to your next show.

Inconsistent storytelling

In the field of music branding, storytelling is the key to engaging, captivating and emotionally connecting with the audience. Your brand’s narrative serves as the thread that connects your music, values and persona – ultimately creating a cohesive identity that resonates with your audience.

However, an inconsistent story can often lead to fragmented brand perception among music fans. To create a coherent brand narrative, it’s important to identify key themes that define your music and personality, highlight key moments in your artistic journey, and ensure your story is consistent across all platforms. Finally, being authentic goes a long way to ensuring that you build a deep and lasting connection with your audience.

Copycat branding

How many times have you seen an artist who desperately tries to copy another musician’s brand in the hope that they’ll succeed too? Imitating another acclaimed artist’s brand may seem like a simple path to success, but it can actually backfire.

Copycat branding stifles your unique characteristics, and makes it difficult for audiences to actually see what makes you different. Discovering your own voice and forging your own path, although extremely challenging, is definitely the right way to go if you want to play the long game in this industry.

Final Notes

As we’ve journeyed through all that makes up music branding, it’s never been clearer that establishing a strong brand in music is not a supplementary endeavour. Rather, it’s an essential part of every artist’s journey, and one that has the power to become your long-lasting legacy.


Janelle knows a thing or two about the music industry. Having been involved in the industry since the age of 13, she's now involved in a variety of music-related projects and is always keen to share industry tips 'n' tricks with fellow musicians.