This article originally appeared on Hypebot.
Neil Patel freely shares his "Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand," which mixes notions of business image and personal identity in a manner that's quite relevant to musicians. Though some musicians would prefer to take a haphazardly organic approach to brand building that just leaves it up to others to decide who you are, building your brand doesn't have to be a superficial process. Patel advocates the perspective that "your personal brand is what separates you from everyone else in the world."
In a tradtional marketing industry sense, a "brand" is the "name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's product distinct from those of other sellers." I assume this goes back to things like branding cattle with one's mark, and is the reason brands are often associated with logos and trademarks.
The term brand has expanded to include the public image of a company or an individual. Such an image is a holistic take on how a company or individual is viewed. While you can't ultimately control that view, you can establish a clear picture of who you are and what you stand for as a solid base for promoting your musical identity and conducting your behavior.