Branding lessons from Hed Kandi

Read an interesting piece in Time Out on Hed Kandi, showing how branding principles even apply in the trendy world of the music biz. The Hed Kandi record label was created in 1999, and has launched 117 different compilations since then. They also run some of the most commercially successful club nights (not that I can claim to have been to one). 

1. Clear positioning: rather than just be a series of faceless compilations, there is a real house style that goes beyond just the music. The brand describes itself as "The most glamorous music and lifestle brand". This glitz and glamour comes through the whole mix, from the record covers to the website.

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2. Strong identity:
Hed Kandi is one of the few true brands that exist in the music business, where all most people care about is the artist. A key part of this success is the strong visual identity, starring the Hed Kandi girls, designed by Jason Brooks. The visual style is so popular some of them have been made for sale on canvas.

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3. Stretch selectively: Hed Kandi have licensed the brand, to create revenue, but more to help create awareness and image. This makes sense for a lifestyle brand. They have been selective, focusing on products that link to the glamorous clubbing core. Extensions include body fragrance and more recently a clothing range in partnership with Miss Selfridge, designed by Jason Brooks

Picture 14. Refresh to rejunvenate: Hed Kandi became famous for house music, but has expanded to include other musical styles such as "Nu Disco" (to listen to samples of this and broaden your musical knowledge, click here). Check this quote from Phil Faversham, head of A&R (artists and repertoire), straight out of our stuff on Core Brand Renovation: "Its important to do new things that are relevant, but also reference the past. You've got to evolve or you'll die"

5. Grow geographically: Hed Kandi has grown by expanding its
club nights out from the home base in Central London to the suburbs,
and also outside the UK, to places including Lebanon. From running 200
events a year they now run 750-800.

In summary, a good example of clear positioning and identity being the foundation for both core brand growth, expansion geographically and selective stretching.