This is the INDIEpIpE Brand Theme template. It corresponds totally with the classic big brand positioning statement, but hopefully is more musician friendly. You don’t yet know what the symbols mean, but let’s walk through them and see how it all fits together. At the bottom of this page is a link to download a template that you can start to fill out, so you can start completing your brand template. But first…
Your Dream Audience (they call it the ‘Target Market’)
Big brands call the people that they want to buy their product their ‘Target Market’, but to me it sounds a bit militaristic for music, so I think of it s ‘Your Dream Audience’. The Dream Audience is the people who will be most interested in spending their time and money on you and your music. The ones who will sing along with every tune. As you’ll see, these are the people you want to build upon. They are the ones who will tell their friends about how great you are. We’ll start figuring out exactly who they are shortly. I’ve shown their brains and hearts not to show that they are nuclear physicists who happen to be in love, but to show that you want to appeal to your Dream Audience’s hearts and minds.
Let’s start your Brand Theme in words: For Your Dream Audience,
Your Act (the Brand Name)
This is pretty simple to relate to. For the soap suds, the brand is TIDE (or whatever), but for you the brand is your name or the name of your act if you have a stage name or are part of a group. So when you start to fill in your Brand Theme, this is the easiest thing to put in first.
But, you ask, what if your act doesn’t have a name yet? Then the Brand Theme is going to be even more useful for you, because it will give you the ability to look at potential names and see if they fit your Brand Theme.
So, For Your Dream Audience, You, (or Your Act) brings them
The thing(s) that make you stand out from the crowd (Point of Difference)
As you go through figuring out your Brand Theme, you’re going to spend a lot of your effort figuring out exactly what it is that makes you stand out from the crowd.
The other side of this, and what may be equally important, is the next part of the theme, the Frame of rReference. But before we jump to that here is where we are so far:
For Your Dream Audience, Your Act brings them The Thing(s) That Make You Stand Out from
The crowd you’re standing out from (Frame of Reference)
The interaction between your point of difference – the thing that makes you stand out from the crowd – is kind of meaningless without figuring out and communicating to people what that crowd is. At its most basic, it is probably your genre of music.
You stand out from the crowd of singer/songwriters or stand out from the crowd of modern jazz trio or whatever. But as we go through this you’ll see that there are other ways that a crowd can be defined. And the more precisely you can figure out what the crowd is, the more precisely you can figure out what makes you stand out from it, and the more interested your dream audience will be because they know exactly where to ‘place you’ in their heads. (Which is why it’s called a positioning statement). But before we get bogged down in that, let’s see how the sentence works:
For Your Dream Audience, Your Act brings them The Thing(s) That Make You Stand Out from This Crowd because
Your Why (Reason to Believe)
In the marketing of soap suds, this reason to believe thing is quite often factual, because the point of difference – what makes the product stand out from the crowd (gets your whites whiter!) is often based on a claim that needs to be proven. Well, not exactly proven, but there is some reason to believe that it might be true, they have more scientists working on it or something. It doesn’t necessarily mean the whiter whites thing is true, but it does give the target market enough information that they can believe that it could be true.
For you as a musician, obviously there’s nothing factual you can prove, like ‘makes you happier than any other music’ but you can give people a reason (or reasons) to believe what you are saying about yourself and your music.
In fact, as a musician, it might be easier to provide a reason to believe, because there is a reason you play music, what I am calling ‘Your Why’, and that, as we shall see, is a very powerful reason for people to be attracted to what you do.
Let’s start there in filling out your brand theme and getting you selling more music, making more money, with less effort.
For [Your Dream Audience], [Your Act] brings them [The Thing(s) That Make You Stand Out] from [This Crowd] because [Your Why].