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Rock Brands


Active Member
Article by Robbie that may be of interest: Rock Bands and Rock Brands, it's on our blog site also for those who havn't bookmarked it.

Essentially, a brand is made up of 3 main elements; A name, sign or symbol used to identify yourself. A promise. The pledge of satisfaction and quality in what you do. A collection of perceptions. Albeit in the mind of the consumer, but forged by your actions.
The biggest brands have managed to shape all these 3 ideas into instantly recognisable, bankable, business. Think of a brand, any brand, and you automatically think about your opinion of their product/s, and then you think about the company itself, is it ethical? cool? responsible? out of date? or even important?

Getting to my point… being a man of music myself, it’s hard to ignore the mass destruction of what I call ‘credible’ music, the main focus in point being the Kings of Leon, started off utterly cool, but after 2 albums, the record label have had them pressed, polished and primed into something they can sell, not to the indie geek or the odd boy in the corner, but to the world (mainly girls though).
Delving deeper, it’s not just happened recently, with or without inclination, it seems all bands have built themselves a strong brand. It starts with the logo… and there’s been some great ones, but lets just go with one of the most iconic, the Rolling Stones lips. AC/DC, The ‘Pre-Fab Four- TheMonkees took marketing and brand to a whole new commercial level stateside. Nigel Martin Smith and Sony had a field day with original Take That branding, very contemporary, very money spinning. Coldplay have manufactured their own brand, a kookie, upper class, make trade fair-ing, lovely bunch of lads, and people believe that, every time they hear the name, see their name, or catch a glimpse of Chris Martin’s mug, because they’ve never done anything to hurt that perception, they aren’t rock n rollers, but they make nice music… nicely. And that sells.
Any band in your head right now have that set of 3 main elements… A name, sign or symbol you recognise… a promise, whether it’s to deliver mind bending albums, or progress musically, or simply to rock n roll… and a finally a collection of perceptions, forged by the audience and cemented by a record label.
I’m not going be cynical and say that bands have forged a brand to help them sell records… far from it. The record companies do that, no doubt. But, I cannot deny that bands need a brand, a set of values and perception that defines the band for their audience, that helps convey the message they want to get across, to connect with the world. It’s not just the music, but it’s the brand that people engage with.
So, I guess that you could say that band’s brand has simply been mislabelled as the band’s ‘image’. Anyway it’s time to have a mull over and decide, who’s your favourite Rock Brand?

Have I just noticed the Rock Brand? | Armadillo Creative


Staff member
and here I came in expecting something about the sweet sugary goodness that is (hunstanton/blackpool/etc) rock :)

Tom Sound

Active Member
Makes a good read Berry, some interesting points

"Essentially, a brand is made up of 3 main elements; A name, sign or symbol used to identify yourself. A promise."

I think the brand of a band has 4 elements, the fourth being the sound. A band's 'sound' can single handedly alter the whole brand and conceptions of the b(r)and. Or is that part of the 'promise'?

As pointed out with the Kings of Leon. I couldn't tell you what their sign/symbol is or their promise but I would guess it has changed since their first album Youth and Young Manhood. With the development of their 'brand' the sound has been the controlling element of this transformation. Starting as a hicksville southern rock band and becoming an epic mish mash of emotional euphoria for their last album with what I like to call 'the coldplay virus'. Coldplay being the undisputed kings of euphoric melody and general niceness have unintentionally diluted the roots of many a band in search of fame and fortune guided by hungry record label bigwigs by infecting them with this virus of nice euphoric U2esque symphonic crescendo. And who can blame the KoL with their first UK number one from their latest album and an entry in the US charts at 25, their highest position in their home country charts since their conception. I think a bands brand is more clearly defined when they come to fruition before being commercialised to shift units resulting in a sound very much like the next band to come along. You look at some of the smaller labels or independants such as the Sub Pop label. The bands may not be such a runaway success as one taken under the wing of Sony BMG. But bands such as Nirvana, Mudhoney, Dinosaur Junior have a more consistent brand than one which jumps on an audio bandwagon (see what I did there) because they're told to. It make me wonder if the Kings of Leon, prefer what they play now because it earns them more, or if their hearts are still in the trailer park :D

Who's going to be next to catch a coldplay? I think Kasabian have with their latest offering intended to be influenced by the mighty Led Zeppelin, but just utter euphoric tat . All IMHO of course :D