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Why Artists Have To Be Lifestyle Brands

December 18, 2018

In the article, What It Actually Means to be a Lifestyle Brand, Michael Schonfield identifies components of a lifestyle brand as,

 

“Championing an identify or subculture as an end goal, the lifestyle activities build salience, not necessarily the product, and it fosters interaction between audience members, which drives brand association.”

 

Music x Lifestyle

 

At their best, artists are lifestyle brands and music is the product that fits into their fan’s lives.

 

The lifestyle brand comes from firmly associating the product, in this case music, with an authentic way of life and many successful artist do this well.

 

With music, an artists’ lifestyle is their interests, ideas, values, perspective, look, priorities, tastes, vernacular, and overall culture.

 

Lifestyle in music varies from genre to genre, region to region, and is constantly evolving as sounds and cultures blend.

 

Music is an anchor or foundation point to which any creative project can naturally tie back to.

 

 

It’s Only a Lifestyle if it’s Natural

 

Artists with a clear vision and story should be able to make that evolution feel seamless and natural. They should easily champion the life they live by authentically telling their story.

 

From there they need to invest in learning their craft and merging their lifestyle into it to create a unique identity.

 

The music and the brand is in sync with their genuine lifestyle, not pushing it to the back.

 

Traditionally, when a product or brand properly champions a culture or identity, they highlight up and comers in the scene, work with local venues, and create valuable content focused on immersing the audience into their world and style.

 

For music it’s the same, it should highlight and pair well with the artist’s brand.

 

 

Music is a Piece of the Lifestyle Brand

 

Lifestyle activities should build salience, not the product. 

 

What do we mean by that?

 

It means that to build a successful lifestyle narrative you'll have to take an action first-brand second approach where the actions associated with the culture are the focus and your brand is in the background.

 

It's easy to understand when you think of it as a seamless integration, where the product isn't the only focus, but is rather a natural part of the story. It's used to further immerse the audience into the overall experience.

 

If you focus on making your music apart of your audience’s day-to-day life, then you will transform from an artist to an entire lifestyle.

 

For musicians, that means, creating a soundtrack to someone’s life.

 

People use music to enhance their life from working to romance to exercising to parties. The music fits the experience.

 

When you create songs, you have a story, inspiration for that story, and emotions tied to that story that all fit a mood, setting, location and actions.

 

If you focus on making your music apart of your audience’s day-to-day life, then you will transform from an artist to an entire lifestyle.

 

One of the best ways to reflect their day-to-day, is to create visuals. Music videos show fans how you imagined the music fitting into their life.

 

 

Let The Audience Participate in Your Lifestyle

 

Last, and most importantly, you have to foster the interaction between audience members.

 

Genres often have communities and those communities break down even more for specific sub-genres.

 

The internet gives you more power and independence as every artist can build their own community based on their own artistic style and lifestyle choice.  

 

In order to do this, you need to create a platform and build ways where fans can interact with each other and discuss talk about you.

 

Fans need to relate to other fans with you as the glue that brought them together. Even if they find themselves talking about other interests and beliefs, it should all tie back to you and what you stand for. 

 

The internet gives you more power and independence as every artist can build their own community based on their own artistic style and lifestyle choice.  

 

How do you facilitate this?

 

By going online and interacting with fans, encouraging discussion and then sharing stories, photos, and videos.

 

You can do this in-person by hosting pre-and-post concert events and coordinating fan club meetings in different cities.

 

At the end of the day, it’s all about creating an experience where your fans can socialize.

 

 

Music is a Product and a Culture 

 

While any artist can expand beyond music, the music is an anchor or foundation point to which any creative project can naturally tie back to.

 

We're not saying that your art is secondary. We're saying that it should be the heart of your brand and that you'll create more opportunities for yourself by building around that.

 

When you embody a lifestyle, champion cultural values, build salience with activities, and create platforms for audiences to connect with each other, then you will have the most loyal fan base.

 

Fans will genuinely feel like they're apart of what you're building.  

 

Ultimately, this will lead to a successful and lucrative brand.

 

 

 

 

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