To enlarge a fan base and keep them interested, the artist needs to regularly pump out content that aligns with their branded archetype—providing additional facets to who they are. After all, the core of branding is distinguishing one from the masses—creating visual, aural, and emotional identity.
Before content generation though, the archetype needs to be selected and be front and center in the artist’s mind and their staff’s minds (manager, publicist, etc.). An easy way to identify an artist’s archetype is to ask these questions:
- What’s the artist’s freak factor? What makes the artist unique?
- What nonverbal tone should be communicated?
- How does the artist want to be remembered?
Introspective answers will certainly provide a strong case to select two archetypes to incorporate into a branded image. One archetype is also fine, but it’s fine to have two.
There are different lists for standard branded archetypes, but here’s the list I like to use.
- The Boss
- The Enigma
- The Best Friend
- The Charmer
- The Nurturer/Caregiver
- The Philosopher & Sage
- The Adventurer/Explorer
- The Warrior
- The Free Spirit
- The Change Master
- The Purist
- The Rebel/Outlaw
- The Creator
- The Ordinary Guy
Identifying the artist’s branded archetype is a critical step in crafting a communications strategy that effectively builds brand dimension. The archetype needs to be in place before considering specific campaigns to showcase brand dimension to the artist’s fans.
The best archetypes often emerge from self-reflection. Allowing the artist’s archetype to come from their authentic self is critical. In an age of “filtering,” it’s important to make sure the artist is not trying to be something they’re not. There could be a “gap in the market” that’s easily filled by building a brand around a certain archetype. However, this is not valuable to the artist, nor to their fans.
I often share this example with clients. People at-large have many different interests. Some like cooking, fashion, flying airplanes, travel, or art. These same people might also have controversial interests like hunting animals or attending political rallies. In determining the archetype, focus on something that is genuine, but not controversial. Push out content that highlights the desirable, but omits the controversy.
The artist’s public-facing communications should only highlight the pleasant archetype and leave out any information that doesn’t support it. Doing this isn’t only for avoiding controversy, it’s namely for brand clarity. Branding is about singularity and remaining top-of-mind. The easiest way to accomplish this is by focusing on one idea and executing it across platforms.
After the archetype is chosen through careful reflection ensuring that it aligns with who the artist truly is, pump out branded content. To assist with this, read my Checklist For Getting Noticed.
In the end, you’ll be glad you took the time to find an archetype as it usually generates more income for all involved.
How do you make more money? Read my previous article How To Make More Money By Building Brand Dimension.