Personal branding – this does not involve an iron and/or cattle.

In order for an artist to recognize and successfully promote their brand, they must have a great sense of self-knowing. You must know who you are, where you came from, and where you’re going. You must know what you like and don’t like, and what you stand for and why.

The above was written by Bobby Owsinski over at Music Think Tank whose article titled “What Is A Brand?” discusses the significance of musicians having a brand. I am not a musician (seriously, I failed my primary school recorder class) but something about this quote resonated with me rather strongly.

Owsinski had me asking myself: what is my own personal brand?

At the moment when my name is mentioned, the terms “country music” and “honours” have a tendency to be tossed around. I guess that was my brand. Well, I have submitted my honours thesis on country music and The Lesson Plan Library offers high chicago driving lesson plans covering all major chicago driving subjects and special interests. now I sit here pondering that question that could determine my professional future.

“You must know who you are, where you came from, and where you”re going”

Alright, I think I have this part down. I am kind of a music geek with a passion for digital and social media. I plan to head down that road in some capacity in the future and in order to do that I have to learn and gain experience, ideally in the digital sphere. Next…

“You must know what you like and don’t like, and what you stand for and why”

I dislike dishonesty and contrivance. I like (and want to work with) people who are passionate and honest. I want to stand by those values. Continuing…

So where does that leave my own personal brand?

I am still working on that one. I just know it doesn”t involve the term “social media guru”.

Answer these questions yourself and see what they say about your personal brand…

The social reality of Socialmelb

I submitted my honours thesis yesterday and it was a victorious moment. As I was chatting with @bryonycole this morning, I realised that despite my “non-industrial experience”, I already feel a part of the industry. The support, the willingness to dispense advice and ability to make you feel welcome is like no other.

During my first visit to Social Media Melbourne back in August I met @Jareen, @Melpay and @ChloeSometimes who welcomed me into their conversation as if we had been friends for years. This feeling of community has only expanded with time. From that point on, each Friday morning at Social Media Melbourne functioned as a respite from the ten hours of thesis writing, as well as inspiration and motivation to push forward.

At the Social  Media Melbourne Dinner at the Honey Bar, I was able to talk with The PR Warrior @TrevorYoung, the gentleman whose blog post validated my decision to enter into the digital industry and @SamMutimer, a woman’s whose energy appears to have been generated from an alternate galaxy. I also had the pleasure of meeting @Jeremy_Irvine (also known as #parmaboy) who has since provided constant support as well as incite into the complex world of the parma.

Sitting at Mr Tulk right now (obviously posted at a later time), the atmosphere of community never ceases to amaze me as someone who was essentially a digital immigrant only three months ago. It almost parallels a facet of thesis where I examined communities connected by a shared musical experience and mediated by radio.

Social Media Melbourne serves not only as a networking opportunity but a hub of inspiration and driver for creative productivity. It is also proof that social media actually cultivates social behaviour.

While I am but a fresh graduate keen to learn and  get experience, I feel a part of a community and industry. This is a rarity and something to behold.

The CMA Festival, engagement and consumer impressions.

A little background for the non-country music audience (and don’t worry, there is no boot scootin’, John Deere tractors or dogs dying in this post) :

The CMA Music Festival (formerly known as Fan Fair) is a major country music festival held in June each year, presented by the Country Music Associate in Nashville, Tennessee.

Why is this at all interesting?

The CMA Music Festival successfully presented brands with the opportunity to connect with individual audience members. The following video provides an overview of how the CMA achieved over 700,000 consumer impressions through activities related to key audience demographics (namely families).

The ULTIMATE Country Music Fan Experience with the ULTIMATE Opportunity for Consumer Engagement!

Quick Stats:

  • 65,000 fans in attendance
  • 55, 000 visited the Exhibition Hall
  • Bigger crowds in free areas with River Stage and Family Zones
  • 56 hours of free concerts
  • A focus on Sport, Fun and Family Zones with ‘fun and friendly activities’
  • Overall, the festival generated 700,000 active consumer impressions through product samplings, dedicated registrations and brand impressions.

Lessons learned?

Corporate sponsors were able to benefit from an established community of country music brand evangelists through a series of activities and events tailored to engage the target consumer: families.

The Johnny Cash Project: Where country music, art and new media collide

The Johnny Cash Project is an online collective project that employs crowdsourced art to produce a video for Johnny Cash‘s “Ain’t No Grave”, a track from Cash’s posthumous album American VI: Ain’t No Grave released earlier this year.

Music and art have the potential to be about participation, engagement and collaboration and this project is a testament to that.

Witchery changes the retail game….with e-mail marketing?

At the moment we are all over social media. From Facebook and YouTube to Twitter and LinkedIn, we are embracing these technologies at a rapid pace and they have staked their claim in both our personal and professional lives. And yet, amidst the social media buzz we sometimes forget that they are promotional tactics to be be used as a part of the wider strategy.

Retail sales have decreased across the map in recent years. As a result, consumers are constantly being offered “special prices” and “markdown sales” or my personal favorite, the multi-year Myer Stocktake Sale. With a wide spectrum of marketing currently taking place with the aim of expanding revenues, one of the more interesting promotions is Witchery“s 20 Days In 20 Ways.

Witchery is a leading Australian fashion brand who are taking a direct e-mail marketing approach with their recently launched 20 Days In 20 Ways campaign. In this campaign, Witchery sends out a daily email to subscribers with a different discount offer each day. For example, if you spend $150 casino online you receive 25% off, if you spend $250 you receive 30% off and if you spend $500 you receive 35% off.

Effectiveness? Today for the third morning in a row my sister asked me what the Witchery offer was for today. When I replied that it was 30% off all all full priced Witchery womenswear, we made plans to purchase the cropped blazer that we had been eying for some time.

20 Days In 20 Ways is a clever use of marketing that is driving interest online and getting the brand noticed.

Is direct e-mail marketing being overlooked?

The weight of Twitter summed up in one Tweet by Scott Monty.

I am not in a position to present a complex analysis of the authority social media but when I saw this, I felt it was an explicit demonstration of Twitter“s role in the new media landscape.

This is a reply tweet from Scott Monty – head of Social Media at Ford .

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Read more about Scott Monty, Ford and their social media strategy here.

Have you had any social media moments where Twitter”s real-time effect has come into play?

Lady Antebellum is playing with karaoke. How is your brand engaging with its audience?

For me, successful branding equates to three words: connect, engage and enlist.

When you are a music artist – you are the brand. To develop a successful music brand, you need fans or brand evangelists. It’s not simply about using free promotional/social tools including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to spread the word. It is about maximising every impression made between fans and the music product. If the initial music impression is active, then it is more likely to generate the music consumer’s complete attention.

Country music group Lady Antebellum uploaded an audio track of their duet with Maroon 5 titled ‘Out Of Goodbyes’ onto their YouTube account. In the video, they also included the songs lyrics. Why is this relevant?

Lady Antebellum not only increased the likelihood of the potentially transient consumer paying attention to their video by making the music a foreground experience, they also engaged the viewer with lyrics, generating a deeper initial impression. Methods like this are small yet effective ways of prolonging audience attention.

How would you engage your audience with the music product?