Branding: The ‘Cross Between’

© 2009 Vinny Ribas

You are defined by your look and your sound. Some people will see your picture, watch or hear you in an interview before they ever hear your music. Others will hear your music before they ever see what you look like in pictures or on stage. In both cases, people are making ‘first impression’ judgments before they ever get to know the real you. If that first impression does not make you stand out from the masses of media those potential fans are bombarded with every day, they may never make the effort to see or hear more about you. If your sound, image and even your persona are not consistent and true to who you are at all times, you can easily misguide the listener or viewer and lose critical opportunities to earn new and possibly very vocal fans!

Regardless of the amount of talent you have or don’t have, there are 2 traps that you need to be careful not to fall into. First, if you look or sound like everyone else, you will never stand out as unique or original. Secondly, if you look too much like one particular well-known celebrity, you will be labeled a copycat. Neither of these gives you the uniqueness that you need to stand out from the crowd and make people want to hear more or get to know you better.

How do you know if you’ve developed a look and sound that is uniquely you? Listen to what people say about you. If they compare you to one particular artist, and especially if you hear it over and over again, then you need to do some reshaping of your sound or re-branding of your image. However, if they say that you are ‘a cross between X and Y’, or ‘X meets Y’, then you know that you have begun to carve out your own special niche! It is even better when they add 3 or more people into the mix – “You are a cross between X and Y and Z!”

Some people naturally have a unique sound and/or look. Other people need to work and develop it. The bottom line is that the public is always looking for something new and refreshing. And since they make the final decisions as to who is going to be successful and who is going to be ignored, isn’t it worth putting in a little extra effort to give them something different to talk about?


About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management, consulting and training company. The company also hosts networking and educational events and has published an app that connects people to the Nashville Music Industry. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, artist manager, booking agent, songwriter, studio owner, producer and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He has also coached over 1000 artists and songwriters. He is a sought after speaker and has authored over 400 music industry articles. Vinny is also the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, an independent film and television production company.