Personal Branding for Country Music Artist
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The project began when famed country musician, actor, and philanthropist Mark Collie approached Magnetic and tasked us with reinventing his brand. After making his presence felt in country music in the early 1990’s, Collie spent the next 15 years focusing his efforts on other ventures. After being out of the spotlight for some time, Mark felt an increasing desire to get back to his original passion. It was up to us to capture his journey – where he is, where he’s been, and where he’s going.
What We Did
- Personal Branding
- Website Design
- Mobile & Tablet
- Social Media
- Merch Design
- Video Production
- Traditional Media
Building a Personal Brand
As a branding agency we love stories. We knew through his music that Mark Collie happens to be one of the world’s great storytellers. But in order to get a better understanding of the man behind the music, we decided to get together with Mark on his home turf. So in May of 2013 a small contingent of the Magnetic team ventured to Nashville to meet with Mark. In person, he showed what an amazing storyteller he truly was, and left us with a rugged portrait of a troubadour with a heart of gold.
Initial Logo Concepts
During our process in branding Mark, we explored numerous logos and elements to bring his brand to life. Here are some of the ideas we toyed around with in our creative phase.
Out on the warm, dusty roads of Nashville we were treated to a glimpse of Mark Collie the man. We were given a tour of Music City as only someone who honed their craft playing the city’s bars and honky tonks could, and the sights and sounds of Nashville provided the perfect backdrop to capture the emotionalism of Mark’s music and character.
Exploring the Land of Mark Collie
We chose several photoshoot destinations that hearkened back to a forgotten time and place. The first location was the Patterson House – a converted speakeasy straight from prohibition era full of antiqued bottles, gentlemen packing six-shooters and sophisticated ladies. The second location was the Hamilton house – built in 1832, this historic antebellum home from the “Rattle and Snap” tract of Polk Plantations has housed presidents dating back to the days of Andrew Jackson.
Several months later, in November 2013, we followed up with another photoshoot, this time at 101 Ranch deep in the heart of Texas. 101 Ranch is the location and inspiration behind Mark’s new record label, the aptly-titled 101 Ranch Records. The limitless blue skies and rolling plains played a huge role in the development of the rebranding, and the country locale provided a great artistic foil to the shots we took in Nashville.
Looking for a way to engage the user with each unique aspect of Mark Collie’s storied career, we paid special attention to the user experience as we developed the flow for the site. We crafted an experiential timeline layout that made it easy for visitors easy to take a journey through Mark’s career via the website’s functionality. We divided the content into individual sections that highlight the three main avenues of Mark’s career – music, film, and philanthropy.
250%Increased Social Following
12K%Increased Website Traffic
Responsive Site Design
We live in a world where people make a playlist on their phone and carry their music with them throughout the day. Creating a brand that reflected this on the go mentality was a huge focus in developing the Mark Collie brand. Over the past five years data has shown that mobile browsing become nearly as important as browsing from a desktop.
To reflect this increased focus on mobile browsing, we created a user experience that spanned all devices. By developing unique screen experiences optimized for mobile and tablet viewing, visitors to Mark Collie’s site gets an “app-like experience” catered to each screen size.
At the photoshoots in Tennessee and Texas, Mark was full of classic expressions like “here’s to good friends and reckless companions.” The guy has a knack for coming up with witty one-liners that are both “aww shucks” personable and true to life at the same time. When we began to develop ideas for merchandise, we kept returning to that matter of fact attitude and wanted to be sure that Mark’s personality figured prominently into the concepts. We wanted to bring the rich heritage of Nashville, it’s deep history in music scene and its native textures to life. By expanding upon the visual elements of Mark Collie’s personal brand, we developed a variety of merchandise including shirts, hats, and posters as well as more unconventional items like guitar picks and drink koozies. The end result was classic, iconic brand that serves as an extension of everything that reigns true about Mark Collie himself.
What better way to capture a warm sunset on a ranch in east Tennessee than to feel the breeze, smell the trees, and hear the sounds? Video is a huge element for us as we develop content for clients, and during our trips to Tennessee and Texas we were constantly shooting video to release behind the scenes footage for Mark’s fans. The new videos incorporate material from concerts, rehearsals, behind the scenes footage, simple discussions about life and more, with the aim of leaving a lasting impression of who Mark Collie really is. Additionally, we developed a “spotlight series” that features more in depth video content such as back porch strumming sections and footage from a World Series of Brangus cattle auction.