Hit-Maker Branding: Launch your Brand with a Music Industry, A&R Perspective

Nielsen estimates that “by the end of 2011, [there were] 181 million blogs around the world, up from 36 million only five years earlier in 2006.” Let that...

So, the record companies create A&R (Artist and Repertoire) departments and hire executives to scout new talent and hit songs. These people have a pretty sweet job. But don’t be fooled, scouting isn’t easy.

Why? Because every artist thinks they’ve got the “it factor” and the next smash song. And 99% of them don’t. (Hmm… sound familiar?)

So, what does an A & R executive look for?

Oh, they’re just looking for talent and:

Buzz factor, a strong work ethic, an established fan base, strong web presence, a proven ability to sell songs, someone who isn’t overwhelmed with other commitments or debt, someone that is compatible with recent trends, and strongly positioned with a fresh image, look, and sound.

You didn’t think they just want talent, did you?

So how does this lesson apply to you and your business?


The A & R Perspective Applied to Branding

The “secret” to my success has been my ability to look at my brand (products, services, website, etc.) from an A & R Perspective, and then create a strategy based on my assessed results.

Here’s what you do: Answer these common A & R questions (and be specific):

Have I highlighted my talent?
Can I create buzz?
Am I committed to seeing this through?
Do I have a large enough fan base?
Do I have a strong web presence?
Do I have a proven track record?
Am I focused on results?
Am I keeping up with recent trends?
Have I strongly positioned a fresh image, look, and/or sound?
Is this worthy of producing a hit?

Be brutally honest with yourself. Would an A & R Rep sign you to their company based on your answers?

Next, create an action plan to improve your results and start implementing. Okay, that’s the tricky part. But the A & R Perspective will tell you what to focus on (and where to improve), if you want to turn your brand into hit.

Connect with Kimberly on Twitter.

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Photo: NPR; Beyoncé Knowles-Carter


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