Weird looking guitarist

Band style is all about personal experssion; unless you're this guy.

When it comes to injecting your big ego personality into all of your marketing and PR efforts, there's a lot to think about. There's your online presence, your onstage persona, your public and press image as well as your merchandise. And those are just some of the broader headings under which many subheadings exist.

Like your uncle Bob who's a bandana-and-leather-wearing biker or your teenage cousin Alvira who's adopted the dark-and-gloomy goth look (much to her father's dismay), there seems to be a particular culture and philosophy around personal and corporate image. That's what you want to figure out as a band. With that in mind, it's always apparent when it's faked. Posers are later revealed for who they really are (*cough* Vanilla Ice). You don't want to be a poser. The penalty of falsifying your image is reality TV. That's what those shows are really about; community service.

So if you're a snot-nosed nerd - as hard as it might be - embrace it. If you're a rock jock with a soft spot for beauty in nature… you're a metrosexual (and you thought I was going to say gay; come on, I would never stoop to that level). Whatever the case, there is no other you and there's no point in emulating anyone else. Get comfortable in your own skin. Once you've sorted that out, it's time to…

Commit To A Band Name

It might seem pretty obvious, but if you don't write your band name in cement, someone is probably going to want to change it later (I'm looking at you, Dave; every band has a Dave). It's a little challenging to think about marketing and style when you can't even agree on a name. It's like Puff Daddy. His name keeps devolving from Puff Daddy to P. Diddy to Diddy. Don't leave a crazy man to his own devices for too long or he'll start thinking his name should be shorter. Okay, Mr. Did.

Your band name is your brand and your unified front, so if you haven't settled on a killer name yet, do so. You don't see Van Halen, Aerosmith or Queen adopting a new name every show they play (even if they've felt like it at times). It doesn't matter what you pick (Neo-Nazi Fascist Genocidal Maniacs might not go over too well with the crowd), because you'll probably get bored of it at some point. Stick to it anyway. Stay together for the fans (yes I used a marriage joke).

Decide On A Logo

If you're after longevity, you're going to want to create a logo (and possibly a few spin-offs) that you use and re-use in the years to come. Just look at McDonald's. Some of the styling and textual elements in their logo may have changed here and there, but they still use the same old golden arches. Imagine if they changed it to blue goblins. How would that affect their bottom line do you think?

There's always a little room for play and experimentation in each of these areas, but in general, you're going to want to keep the same, recognizable branding. To convey a consistent image to the public, you're going to want to use that same logo on your merch, website and social profiles. Then it's a matter of slapping that logo on everything you can.

Decide On Colors

You don't have to be Jack and Meg White to appreciate color schemes (black, red and white). So again, some experimentation might be in order, but a combination like magenta, yellow and lime green might be a little off-base unless you're some kind of 70s tribute band. I guess you never know what might work.

Look at Devo with their ridiculous yellow spacesuits and energy dome hats. Sure, they have tried other things throughout their career, but the yellow suits and red domes are nothing short of iconic. You don't even have to hear the music to know who the band is or what they sound like (you just have to see their picture). Now there's a band that has successfully incorporated their unique and quirky style into their marketing.

Be Authentic

Like I was saying earlier, embrace that which you are. You can't really be someone you're not, so a key strategy to this whole thing is being authentic and true to yourself. Jeez, that sounds kind of preachy.

A lot of the previously mentioned items are going to come from figuring this out. Stand for what you believe in, even if it seems unpopular. There are enough people in this world even if you were to - in Derek Sivers' words - proudly exclude some. You don't need 7 million fans to make it; that's impossible anyway. There's no sense in going against your nature (though it might make for a good concept album).

Present A Unified Image

This is what we're really after. People should be able to look at your album cover, Facebook page, newspaper ads, cuisinart (okay, maybe not that), your website and personal style and see cohesion between each. They should be able to recognize the connection between you and your brand. That's right, it's time to be Kool-Aid Man ("oh yeah!").

It's definitely good to draw out the personality of each and every band member, and that's where some personal style comes into play. But hopefully you aren't just in a band because you're all good at music. Be in it for the right reasons: chicks!

How have you used your band's unique style in your marketing? Leave a comment, fence-sitter!

Image: Viewminder