Brand deals. Are they a fairygod mother of talented artists or corrupting arms of capitalism for the sellouts? Have you ever wondered how to get one? Well, today I’m going to answer some of your questions. I’ve been working in marketing since 2009 and this is what I’ve learned about the subject.
Why do brands need creators?
The most common scenario is that a big brand releases a new product (or needs more support for an old one). Naturally the brand wants to broadcast some key messages to its target audience to maintain brand identity, boost sales and attract new clients. Every brand defines a very precise portrait of its client by running lots of surveys and researches. Brand managers try to find out what do their future clients love, hate, dream of and what do they have in common. With this portrait in mind they start to look for the best platform to connect with the audience. One of the best ways to get your message through is to find a brand ambassador. It can be a single artist, a band or any other kind of creator and public person. One thing you can be sure of: marketing managers are painfully aware how influential music is among millennials.
How to get a deal?
Brand managers are very skeptical and down to earth people. The first thing they’ll want to know is what you can bring to table. To get yourself a deal you need to speak their language: provide analytics such as how many hit songs do you have, how many times were your songs broadcasted on TV, Radio and other media channels, how many followers do you have on YouTube, a chart of your fan base by demographic and geo location, merch and music sales numbers and so on and so on. The more numbers you provide, the better.
How to find your brand?
First of all you need to search for brands that support music. The two parties have to feel like a natural fit or else your collaboration will come off as a strictly paid appearance and make more harm than good. Brands, unlike music labels, continue to have multi-million dollar marketing budgets, and some even have specific budgets for music-related programs. Look for a company that is in alignment with what you do, and then look for opportunities for synergy. Be sure to review the terms of the agreement so you know when and how you are to use their brand name, and make sure you can fulfill your end of the deal. Also it is important to remember that you can only have one endorsement deal for each type of product, e.g., one beverage, one clothing line, one instrument, etc.
Next Big Sound released a report on the value of a brand which says the top ten categories of "brands artists have worked with" are:
1) Fashion - 58%
2) Alcohol - 55%
3) Technology - 45%
4) Automotive - 30%
5) Mobile - 30%
6) Soft Drinks - 28%
7) Beauty - 20%
8) Travel - 20%
9) Food - 13%
10) Finance - 10%
("Brands & Bands: The Value Exchange," Next Big Sound, Dec. 2014)
This may help you to choose a perfect brand match for your band.
How much can I make from a brand deal?
There is no particular answer to this question. From zero to millions of dollars. It really depends on what both parties can offer. Some time ago I worked on a case with a well-known car company. The brand decided to collaborate with a famous band that 90% of their target audience listened to. The band created a song that incorporated brands product in new song lyrics and official music video. In exchange the company covered all production and promotion expenses for the new song and video. It also paid an additional big chunk of money to the band. Both sides enjoyed this collaboration a lot and continued to work together ever since.
How do you feel about incorporating brand names into your music? If you had any experience with brand deals, please share your story in the comment section!