Monday, June 4, 2012

So, about selling products and branding my hair.

Back in the 80's, I had a very odd, circular conversation about marketting music with a friend who was in first year marketting at Swinburne. He was trying to explain to me what a brand was. Admittedly, we were drinking brandy and dry at the time - I know, it was the drink of choice of the comfortable middle class, middle age, eastern suburbs liberal voter (none of which I ever was) but what else would you drink when your talking about brands but brandy?  With all that booze being throw down my recall is a little hazy, but I don't believe we ever settled on what a brand was with regards to music. We couldn't decide whether it was the performer, the performance, the album or other bits of merchandise. I still don't know, but suspect a brand is some sort of instantly recognisable selling point rather than the stuff.

Recently another friend, who's an ace publicist, suggested I may have a branding issue, well, of course I do. I still don't know which bit of me is the brand. But, if I take the definition of a brand as being the instantly recognisable selling point, then I'm going to suggest my brand is my leonine mane! So, how do you market a head of hair, and what's it got to do with music?

In an attempt to try and sort this out, I've started to create a bit of a business plan (Are you yawning already? Well, it is important if you're a musician and you are creating products). I've jotted down a few overall aims and objectives and thought I'd share em with you.

I still have shitloads of work to do to nail down some budgets, and work out how to brand my hair, but here's a copy of the first bit of the marketting/business plan for my latest products. It gives you an idea of what you can expect from me and my hair in the next little while and it shows you that musicians are a bit more pragmatic than we let on.

O.K., I'm off to wash my hair, I feel a bit dirty all of a sudden!

Create marketable products (sounds pretty cold, but let's be honest, that's what I'm doing) that fondly represent my experience of living in West Brunswick.

  • ·      Produce an album of 10 original songs
  • ·      Produce 20 page booklets of lyrics, poems, flash fiction and photos
  • ·      Produce one hour live performance based on book and album


      The album will reflect the relationship between West Brunswick and the songwriter. It will render the suburbs character through a landscape used as metaphor, thematic material and setting for the songwriters personal experience of living in West Brunswick.

      The sound of the album will be warm and close. The use of parlor instruments and live recorded sound will create an experience for the listener that places them in the sound world of the songwriter. This sound world will recreate an evening in a warmly lit comfortable lounge room in West Brunswick with mugs of tea or wine (or even brandy and dry) and acoustic songs that describe what has happened in and around that space. When the listener leaves the space they may still see the suburb through the songwriters eyes.


The booklet is a keepsake of lyrics and written impressions of West Brunswick accompanied by some photos.  The additional forms of poetry, fiction and photography extend the songwriter’s capacity to respond to West Brunswick and it's inhabitants and gives people something to read on the tram. 

In keeping with the idea of the album’s aims, the performance will be presented in small personal spaces such as people’s lounge rooms, and small, intimate venues. It will seek to recreate the album’s sound and intimate feel. The performance will use storytelling, songs and visual representations of West Brunswick, possibly including a shadow box and slide show. The performance will use acoustic instruments and be presented unplugged. It may require two or three performers to present the work. 

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