Interest in and demand to attend live events has grown substantially in the last decade and the live experience is currently the engine room of the wider music business. Live music has become so central to the music business that recordings have a diminished importance and even, on occasions, a different role. Whereas before bands used to give away the single to sell the album, now they give away the album to sell the concert ticket. The strength of live music is that one cannot download or stream a genuine experience. But is difficult to gather people’s attention, therefore the live performance has to be exceptional. The positive side is that artists are really there to perform instead of marketing themselves over the internet, so it should be one of their strengths.
The sale of merchandising is the: “use of your name & reputation to sell goods”. Selling merchandising is part of the branding process. Any sort of musician that wants to make a sustainable career out of it needs to have a solid brand. The selling of merchandise is a way to add value to the brand. There has to be a merchandising deal for each product the artist wants to get involved with.
First is important to start with a simple logo. For example the misfits skull, is one of the most popular things in the punk-rock world and is just a single colour skull. Once the artist gets some clients and more attraction they can start to push more things out of the lorry. But until then is essential to keep it simple in order to get a return on the investment. Being realistic with the images and the cost that goes into it, they can make sure to make some profits.
Some artist are content to limit their branding activities to tour merchandising deals to help support a tour that would otherwise make a loss. If the case is that the artist is not selling merchandise, it’s losing a way to make additional income from the business. Moreover, it’s likely that if the artist doesn’t offer the official merchandising to the fans, they will go and buy it from some pirates outside.
But if they do decide to do a merchandising deal for the name, logo or likeness, they also have to consider how far they are prepared to go in protecting that merchandise. Trade Marks protect signs capable of distinguishing goods or services of one trader from those of another. The sign must be capable of being represented graphically (e.g. words, logos, symbols) and must be “distinctive”. It’s essential to register their trade mark, in order to be able to commercialize their brand. Also preventing others who will inevitably come along to satisfy the market demand and try to cash in benefiting from the artist reputation. Thus, it’s important to get trademark protection as early as possible.
Even if you haven’t got a trade mark registered, if someone tries to pass themselves off as you in order to cash in on...