Great branding is the starting point for a successful marketing campaign. Festivals change each year, so their brands need to evolve to stay relevant. We’ve compiled our best festival branding ideas and insights to help festival organisers get it right this summer.
It’s summer, and that means festival season! What should musicians, artists, and festival organisers consider when creating branding for their event, gig, or group?
If you’re planning a festival, one of the key considerations is how to promote the event. A festival without an audience is… well, a bit sad.
After a year and a half of pandemics and lockdowns, what we all want (and need) is a great day out in the sun, surrounded by friends and barbecues, listening to the music we love.
But, for an audience to get to a festival, they need to know it’s happening. Really great, effective marketing is key to packing out the grounds – in a socially distant way, of course – and getting those tickets sold.
Getting the basics right
The first step in marketing an event (or anything else, for that matter), is having something to call it. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that branding is the bedrock of a solid marketing campaign. But choosing a name for your event is more than just a random decision that something sounds cool/funny/on fleek.
When creating a brand for an event (or any business), it’s important to consider:
- Your audience
- Your tone of voice
- Your core message
- Consistent look and feel
Let’s take a closer look at each of these branding factors.
Who do you want at your festival? This is a complex question and depends on a wide variety of factors. What kind of festival is it? If it’s a music festival, who will be playing? What genre (or genres) of music will there be? Who does that appeal to?
When you know who the festival is for, it becomes easier to create the kind of content that will resonate with them. In terms of branding for the festival, this means you can create a name and a “look” that will appeal to your audience and encourage them to attend the event.
Tone of voice
For many people, when they think of a brand identity, what they’re really thinking about is the logo design. They might consider colours, but it rarely goes beyond that. However, a brand identity is so much more than just a visual logo. It’s like the Myers Briggs profile of the event it represents.
A robust brand identity includes a definition of both how the brand looks, and what it sounds like. This is the tone of voice, and a reputable brand development company will always include a comprehensive, practical tone of voice guide in its brand package.
Similar to tone of voice, a brand’s messaging is another important facet of the brand identity. Messaging refers to the core values the brand wants to communicate. Messaging guidelines will also outline how we want the audience to feel when they engage with our brand materials, making it easier for designers and copywriters to create material that resonates with our audiences and delivers on our goals.
One of the most important aspects of a good brand is consistency. Even if a festival rebrands itself every year to appeal to a new generation or changes in the marketplace, each brand will be most effective if it’s consistent.
Consistency can be conveyed through the tone of voice and messaging we’ve discussed before. A truly comprehensive brand identity will define the font families to be used across a range of marketing materials, whether online or off. Consider how to create a consistent, recognisable identity across a wide range of promotional items, such as poster design; digital ads; tickets; lanyards; signage at the event; merchandise and more.
If you make sure to spend time on each of these four considerations, your event branding is much more likely to do its job: getting your audience to your festival. (Even if covid restrictions mean it has to happen online! More on that in our next article.)
But wait – there’s more! Festival branding is about more than just your festival’s own brand. Live events (whether in person or online) provide a golden opportunity for brands of all kinds to reach specific audiences, as long as their message resonates.
If you’re organising the festival, consider who would advertise at your event. Create a list of people who would benefit most from reaching the audience at your event, and would also provide the most value to your audience.
You can work with your brand strategy or PR team to reach out to each of these prospects individually, with a marketing proposal tailored to them. This can be an effective way to bring more value to your festival and generate more revenue from the event.
A live event can be a golden opportunity for the right brand. Imagine it: a massive group of your target audience, in one place, enjoying themselves – and all with disposable income to, well, dispose of. It’s ideal.
If you’ve already created a solid brand identity, you’ll know who your target audience is. You can use this insight to identify the kinds of festivals your audience will be going to. Then, you can either advertise or sell at the event – possibly even both. Alternatively, sponsoring part of a festival that is deeply meaningful to your prospects can be a very effective tool to raise brand awareness and build trust.
Need some help with a brand identity for your festival? Our brand strategy team is dying to work with you. Contact us for a quote or more information.