Pivoting and rebranding your music is a big deal. For a soda, a major household name or an indie musician. Let’s see what actually hides behind the marketing lingo and how to best strategise your move as an indie artist.
REBRANDING VS. PIVOTING
First things first: what is re-branding and what is pivoting?
Rebranding means you keep doing the same thing (in terms of content) but you’re addressing the way you present your work and yourself. Think of a bottle of soda. Same content, different packaging. It can go as far as changing your name or just defining of a new colour code, website and general image.
Pivoting on the other hand means the change goes deeper than this and affects the content of the bottle. You’re changing the formula, maybe shifting to a different genre without any transition. Maybe you’re going from DIY to polished pop. Maybe you start working differently and offer new music services like production on top of being a friendly local band. In this case, you’re pivoting.
Pivoting occurs when you offer something completely different and basically want to almost erase the past but use its foundations for the future. The next would basically be starting over from scratch. But pivoting allows you to keep your name, your fan base and convert them into followers of your new project.
WHY DO IT
There are various reasons that would lead you to pivot and rebrand. Some of them are good. Some of them not so much.
First of all: Don’t rebrand just because you feel bad momentarily. If your latest single didn’t do so well or the new EP didn’t get as many streams as you hope, that’s not enough of a reason to rebrand. Ask yourself why it didn’t work and what to do better next time (promotion, social media presence, official video, fan base growth etc.). In this case your brand needs a boost, not necessarily a makeover.
When you pivot, you rebrand. When you rebrand, you don’t necessarily pivot.
HOW TO REBRAND
When it comes to rebranding your music, you need to ask yourself the right questions and prepare a strategy before you even think of dropping a hint on social media or to your fans in any way. Once you’re sure about your decision, make a list of everything that needs to be covered and define the new direction your brand is going to take.
Define a vibe and atmosphere that’s aligned with your music and content. Choose a main color code and stick to it (for filters, website design, social media headers etc.). What fonts will you be using (on your website, newsletters)? Create a branding sheet listing all these guidelines. Get help if you don’t know how to do all these things. That’s what a team is for.
Prepare your new assets without sharing yet. Make sure you have enough to go when your rebranding goes live. This will help you avoid the mistake of not updating a social media page because a banner was missing and then forget about it for the next 6 months… Whose Bandcamp profile is this anyway?
Keep in mind that rebranding your music is a lot of work. Plan it carefully and take your time.
There are 2 main mistakes to avoid when rebranding your music.
Again, don’t just do it because you’re temporarily disappointed, because you might want to go back to your old brand (if it’s the right, true brand for you) and that will inevitably confuse your audience and make you look unprofessional.
Don’t start rebranding before preparing a plan and strategy. You need to be able to implement all changes at the same time. This means you need to be prepared so that your rebranding covers everything at once: website, social media, newsletter, merchandise, Spotify profile etc. Don’t just revamp your instagram page and leave your website and Soundcloud behind for two months. Everything must be aligned.
Need help with your music brand or strategy? Get in touch with us. We can surely help.