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The Importance of Storytelling for The Artist Brand

Brand storytelling is a strategy used in the marketing world that uses a narrative to connect the brand with consumers and connecting what the brand represents and the values of the consumer. In music, marketing storytelling has the same concept There are many ways that an artist can tell their story.

An artist makes these connections by conveying their stories in numerous ways.  For example:

A Bio: The bio represents the back story. Who the artist is, where they came from and how they got there. Fans love to hear the success story from start to finish. 

Lyrics: Expression of their deepest emotions, via lyrics. 

Music Videos: The music video brings the story to life by connecting lyrics and music to a visual. 

Behind the scenes: Footage that gives a glimpse into everything that happened that led up to the main event or simple daily vlogs from the artist. Giving a fan access into their lives.

On social media: Artists share pictures, tell stories, and videos. This is where artists network and engage with the audience and give them that 1 on 1 experience. Fans love engaging and seeing what the artists do daily. 

Anthony Gonzalez, President of ALG Entertainmentstates Aside from the core and many times raw talent of an artist, whether it be a developing new artist or an established artist, the narrative or story of a music recording artist and their respective repertoire is most essential to their continued success. An artist must feel the need to tell and share their story through their music and performance. Their individual story carries a sense of truth, that when conveyed through their music, the audience will then immediately feel a great sense of empathy or connection with the artist. In the process the artist gains and develops loyal followers and fans who in turn will grow to be loyal for most of their lifetime to their particular/favorite artist. This sense of loyalty also translates to revenue for the artist through the sales or streams of the artist’s music along with the extended sales of merchandise and “Live” performance ticket sales.

Artist storytelling is extremely important, as it conveys who the artist is as a whole. The artist’s overall goal is to make an authentic connection with the listener, in turn, creating a lifelong fan. 

Caroline Abs, Head of Marketing, Latin-Iberia Region at Sony Music Entertainmentstates, Storytelling between Artist and fan is unique in music, compared to other forms of media. For example in movies and TV, the director conveys his vision and actors convey their emotions, but there is no feedback loop between actor and fan. However, In music, the relationship between an artist and a fan especially nowadays is very much a one to one relationship and in many cases a feedback loop. A lot of artists tell a personal story. They want the fan to share what they feel. The fan may respond in that way or the fan may respond based on what their own experience is and that is what creates the connection back to the artist. Storytelling is personal, it’s an authentic relationship between artist and fan.

The one on one experience is what the fan is looking for. They enjoy identifying with the artist in some way, whether it be to empathize with the artist or live their story.

Aileen Michele Fernandez, Audience Development Manager at Sony Music Entertainment, states, Storytelling is one of the key elements of marketing. With storytelling, you are essentially deepening the relationship between the brand and the consumer by emotionally connecting with the audience. The goal behind storytelling should ultimately be to convey an honest and open story and communicate it in a unique and powerful way. By doing so, it is likely you will be creating a loyal and returning audience. In the music industry, these consumers are our fans who we strive to retain as fanatics and enthusiasts.  Artists who are open with their story are more likely to have a more engaged fan base who understands who that artist is and what they stand for.  I believe that storytelling should come firstly from the artist. The label is here to support and help amplify the artists’ message, but it’s really important that the vision the artist has is what is communicated to their audience.

Artists have the gift of conveying their emotions live to their audiences. Fans look for opportunities to have these engagements with their favorite artists and sometimes go to any length to have this experience.

Anthony Miyazaki, Executive Director of Marketing & Analytics | Brand Strategist | Marketing Educator, states, One of the benefits of storytelling in marketing is its ability to transport audience members from being mere observers to becoming a part of the story itself.  When this occurs, strong brand identification is more likely to occur.  Relatively few product brands have sustained long-term brand identification at the highest levels, but in the entertainment industry, opportunities abound.  Consumers identify not only with the story being told, but with the performing artists as well.  This identification builds long-term loyalty to the artist, the genre, and (as is often the case) the products and services that the artist promotes.

Due to fan loyalty artists are able to continue to live out their passion for bringing art into the world. Fans who identify with specific artists most often become lifelong fans, in turn creating revenue for the artists and the music industry as a whole.

Diana Sofia Padilla Aspiring marketer with a background in sportsstates, Storytelling is one of the most effective ways and best tools any marketer can have at their disposal in order to connect to their consumers. Today’s consumers have become more sophisticated and educated buyers and are looking to connect with a brand. This translates into the music industry altogether, as fans are looking to connect with the artist. The best way to best show that is by telling your story.

There are many ways artists can convey their stories. The artists not only have to have great music, but they also have to have great stories that connect. They need to give their human face to the world and show their authenticity. Fans can see through the fakeness they want someone they can be inspired by and relate to. At times, when fans listen to music they insert themselves into the story that the artist is telling and that is how they identify with the artist, because sometimes it’s not the artist’s story, but their story and the more they feel they identify with the artist, the more likely they will become a loyal fan. 

Overall, Fans want to be in the artist’s world and the more the artist shares the more it becomes a reality for the fan. Storytelling closes the gap and provides the opportunity for artists to convert on the fence listeners’ into loyal fans.

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