Throughout the years very many famous musicians and actors alike, as well as behemoth companies, have changed their entire name, branding, social message. 90% of the time that is not beneficial AT ALL to your years-long effort. However, there is that 10% when it actually makes sense and it is recommended. We’ve broken those 10 percent down to 10 concrete instances that will help you get clarity on your direction and artistic purpose. Read below to discover whether it’s time for a complete branding rebirth or if you should just keep putting in more work behind your current stage name.
10. You chose an overly-complicated stage name that no one can pronounce.
When you’re not Elon Musk’s son and your artist name sounds like a Satellite, do yourself and your pockets a favor and change it. Nothing is more irritating than liking someone’s music whose name you can’t even pronounce or attempt to. And DO NOT use your full three-part-plus name as your stage name. Can you imagine Beyoncè having been always introduced both in media and on cover artworks as Beyoncè Giselle Knowles Carter?? Sheesh!
9. You’ve realized your initial music style is NOT what you want to do long-term.
It is not rare for a Rap artist to start off with Drill music and then discovers God and wants to do Gospel albums only. That’s okay. That’s part of human nature and personal evolution. You don’t want, however, to sound like a phoney or a hoax. Accordingly, you should separate your past identity from the one you’re now building as you never pretended, you just evolved to be a better person. Both your identities were true to who you were at that moment.
8. Your aesthetic has changed entirely in the last 6 months or less.
If your brand image has gone through a gradual change, that is fine and no action is needed. If, however, you drastically changed how you look and sound like in the last 6 months, you risk losing A LOT of fans and confusing new ones. You have to consider changing your artist name as the timeframe of your brand image change was too short.
7. You’ve changed locations.
If you used to live in Europe then you move to Australia and you’re not exactly worldwide famous, you WILL lose a lot of your social engagement due to the time discrepancy and the dumb algorithms that still use geolocation and hours as the main two factors in showing your content to your audience. Plainly put, those closest to you will benefit your content the most. If you are not sure whether your move is permanent or not, add a second moniker to your brand and you can co-exist under two identities until you settle on one.
6. You’re about to officially be part of a band/music group.
This is not as much about changing it completely but rather freezing it. It is very confusing to us as curators to go on the artists’ social profiles and see links to two different brands: one for their solo act, one for the band they’re part of. While having your own thing going on is a power move, you should advertise only one brand at a time all over your social media. Your band will become much more successful way faster if all members only promoted THE BAND and not their solo acts. Make it SIMPLE for people to understand whose music they’re supposed to be listening to.
5. You took too long of a break.
As you already know, life happens. But when you’ve been away for an entire decade, you’ll save yourself a lot of explaining in front of your old fans just by taking on a new identity altogether. Especially if your new material is nothing like what you used to release.
4. You got lawsuits involving your current stage name.
Hopefully, you never find yourself in this predicament but if you do… There’s a lot of loopholes you can skip by adopting a new stage moniker. Even a record label contract in some cases can be evaded and you can gain your independence back by using another stage name. So your old brand is locked under contract but your new name is free to release music without the label’s approval. Take notes from Prince: “he conceived the symbol as a replacement for his given name, allowing him to regain control of his output without breaking his contract by releasing records under the new alias instead.”
3. You realized you don’t like who your fans are.
This was most curious for us to witness in several upcoming artists’ careers. So they start out with a certain catalog, amass a certain audience, and then realize they absolutely despise those people and intrinsically have to make changes to what they portray, how they conduct themselves, and what they’re promoting as to attract a higher quality public. Sometimes though, changing your name is the best and fastest way to completely separate yourself from who you used to attract through your music.
2. You got dragged into a scandal.
The downfall of being an independent artist is that you have not yet built much of a reputation to withstand scandals or major public drawbacks. Some scandals might be too overbearing for your brand image and if you find yourself bleeding subs, being canceled out of contracts, losing collaborators, you might as well drop it all behind and start fresh.
1. You got the itch.
There might come one day when you wake up and you decide you’ve had enough and want to reinvent yourself from scratch. That’s fine. You don’t have to explain your reasons to nobody. Sometimes not even to yourself. Creativity does not always make mathematical sense. And that’s okay. You can always go back to your old identity as long as you’ve frozen the pages and not completely removed them. Trust your gut. If you’ve got the itch, go for it!
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