Starting something is never easy, let alone your own brand. What comes with starting your own brand is your responsibility to sustain and manage a trademark that can be recognised and held with regard by the masses. This was crucial for me to understand when I decided to turn my name into a branding that covers my career as an artist as well as the services I provide in the corporate and business sector.
So, if you’re planning to start your own brand, these are some questions that you should ask yourself before doing so. Let’s get into it!
First things first. You truly need to know why you want to start your brand as well as its purpose. This is key to identify your brand’s objectives and aims in order to remain productive as well as to achieve your goals.
Whether you’re solving an existing problem or introducing a new idea or concept, you should definitely understand the main reason why you’re doing so.
This was the case for me when I first started off my music career as DJ Viper before rebranding to my real name, Yusef Kifah. In 2012, I finally discovered my real purpose for getting into this career in the first place. I realised that I wanted the industry to not just identify me as an artist but also as a brand that specialises in the field in terms of providing services and doing corporate work.
It’s crucial to have a perceived identity and originality that makes your brand unique. People want to see something different rather than something that has been done before.
You have to let your brand stand out in order to garner as much attention and credibility from the audience that sets you apart from your competitors.
For me, instead of producing and performing all kinds of genres, I decided to focus my music career on the Trance and Hard Dance music genre, which has successfully set me as one of the top artists within these categories in Malaysia out of the many talented artists who delve into it. I chose these electronic music genres mainly because of their strong energy, fast beats, as well as for their aggressive and euphoric sounds.
Next, though it may sound cool, you should know that starting a brand and maintaining it most certainly involves hard work. Do you really need a brand for what you're doing? One should ask themselves this prior to establishing their trademark as some services do not require a strong brand image.
As an artist, branding is extremely important to allow fans, both potential and current, to relate and remember your brand.
Personally, I’ve been working on my branding by maintaining my social media profiles with relevant content to my industry as well as promoting and marketing my music thoroughly — I do most of these by myself.
Once you set up a trademark, you need to be responsible for maintaining your trademark. Can you bear that responsibility? You need to consider your brand as your offspring that requires you to take care and maintain it.
Being consistent in your responsibilities is also necessary to successfully manage your trademark.
Over the years, I’ve managed to grow exponentially as an artist by going through hardship and many different experiences; good and bad. They serve as valuable lessons to be responsible and persistent in your work to cope. I am able to do this by managing my time effectively as well as sorting out important tasks with my team efficiently.
Everything requires money — the same goes to starting up your brand. A stable financial capability is important if you wish to start your own brand and maintain it, much like a long-term investment.
Whether it’s buying equipment, raw materials, or external services, money is always involved when developing your brand and marketing it.
I’ve personally spent quite a sum of money, earned through my gigs and corporate media production jobs, on equipment such as audio devices, peripherals, as well as advertising and promotional costs when developing my brand. For me, it wasn’t so much about spending. Instead, I found it important to view the money spent on my career as investments for the betterment of my craft and not just for fun.
So, if you have a solid answer to these questions, congratulations, I think you’re capable and ready to start your own brand! However, keep in mind that consistency is key and that your discipline plays the biggest role when establishing your trademark. If you lack self-discipline and a solid sense of self, your brand will never make it. Also remember, working together and collaborating with people is also an important factor to sustain your label.
I wish you guys all the best in trying it out and making it with your personal brand!
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