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How to build brand value as a recording artist. Assets + Brand = Value

Updated: Mar 14, 2021

How to build brand value as a recording artist. Assets + Brand = Value On this episode we dig into the definitions of musical assets (Copyrights), branding those assets and how to build the value of the two subjects together. Branding is important but you can't have a great brand unless you have a great asset.

What is an asset?

property owned by a person or company, regarded as having value and available to meet debts, commitments, or legacies.

  • Copyrights (Composition)

  • Copyrights (Sound Recording)

  • Composition pads and notebooks

  • Word documents

  • Manuscript musical composition paper

  • Recording Equipment

  • Computer

  • Software licenses

  • Hard Drives

  • Microphones etc

  • The recording studio (location)

  • Car or tour van

You have to remember assets are the pieces of property that you OWN that makes you money. If they do not make you money it is not an asset its a liability.

Let’s break this down to its most common factor. Songs that are being shopped streamed, worked, distributed, or in any other position of public consumption or in a position ready to be consumed by the public is an asset. Songs that sit on your hard drive are a liability more than an asset because they are not in the market place and they are LIABLE to damage, loss, or theft.

Your recording studio, which may also be in your house, is an asset as well. Because that is essentially your factory it helps you produce goods in order for you to provide great music as a service to listen to in the marketplace.

To make all of these things true assets, the cost must be covered by the goods and services you sell, if they are being paid on a credit basis and you’re losing money every month due to interest it is a liability.

What is a Brand?

A brand is an identifying mark burned on livestock or with a branding iron signifying ownership of property. To go further it is a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name, identity, or image regarded as an asset.

  • Logo

  • Ownership of that logo (Trademark)

Let’s get a little closer to what we do in the music industry.

Branding by music industry standards is the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design.

That means:

  • Impressing your logo on your product or placing your name somewhere on your product

  • Promoting your owned product, which are assets with the logo

To musicians, this is basically your logo or name but it means nothing with the music or the name. It is not valuable there for value must be added to it.

At this point, you will normally see artists fight over their NAME AND LIKENESS and the permission to use it or to own it. This is a very touchy subject because if you put time and money into building your brand why would you give your name and likeness over to a new owner by selling it for a price. That means you just sold yourself. REMEMBER PEOPLE, you own a business before anything so do not sell your brand, logo, name, likeness, or anything of that nature while you’re in the midst of scaling your business. PERIOD!!

Here is the alternative you may LICENSE YOUR NAME! Do not let your hard-earned money, invested effort, blood, sweat, and tears get snatched up by another party or corporation for a quick million dollar check because when you take that advance check against your future income you will more than likely never ever own your name again and you will always have to work for that company if you want to continue to use your name likeness and logo. You’ll end up like Prince calling yourself “The Artist Formerly Known As Prince”.

This brings me to my next piece of advice.

Building your brand and adding value.

What is Value?

Value is the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

  • The worthiness of your product

  • The Importance of your product

  • The usefulness of your product


Worth = $$$$

Importance = Are you even worth my time to think about you (make them remember you)

Usefulness = In how many avenues can your product be used (bedroom, retail stores, TV, movies, etc). What about your merchandise? How useful is it? Can your fans use your mech over and over again constantly thinking about your name and displaying it to others?

Your product delivery (how you distribute your music or merchandise):

  • must be WORTHY to society

  • must be IMPORTANT to society

  • must be USEFUL to society

Your Recordings and music:

  • must be WORTHY to society

  • must be IMPORTANT to society

  • must be USEFUL to society

Your show and performance:

  • must be WORTHY to society

  • must be IMPORTANT to society

  • must be USEFUL to society

Your service to your fans and the public (how you speak and present yourself in public):

  • must be WORTHY

  • must be IMPORTANT

  • must be USEFUL

On these three points are how you build a brand, by presenting products and services that are worthy, important, and useful. If the public perception of you doesn’t score high on those three points you will fail. If your ego is too big to recognize that people aren’t too keen on your product you will fail. And, if you can’t keep up these three points keeping your brand in the marketplace frequently are you even that important in the first place? To add to that if you’re not worthy or important what’s the use of your product anyway.

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