Music strategy : The most important marketing weapon for a brand

A brief look at the impact of music strategy on brand partnerships, how both brands and artists can benefit from the collaboration. 

The ever blossoming relationship between music and brands has been under scrutiny for years.

Since the infiltration of jingles into radio in the early 90’s, music strategies have become an increasingly important factor in marketing and advertising.

Fast forward a few decades, music with catchy hooks and clever lyrics saw music strive as an essential aspect and driving force with brand advertising.

The development of this relationship has seen new and flourishing ideas take over and own the industry with new tactics and limitless. But why is a music strategy so central to a brands success? And how are some brands still not getting it right? Could this be the reason so many brands aren’t making the cut and fail?

As consumer behavior, attitudes and trends are constantly changing, it is important for brands to understand their market and recognize how consumers are changing the game for brands.

Since the introduction of the iPod in 2001, music has become the most consumed product in this modern day world with Millennials listening to 75% more music than The Baby Boomers and contributing to 72% of Spotify listenership. Music is now the most available and disposable commodity we have, ever evolving and always changing.  And similarly to consumer relationships with brands, consumer relationships are constantly changing with music, which is why a music strategy is the most essential weapon an agency must have.

WHY?

At the core of all advertising strategies, lies the most vital factor for a brand, identifying and engaging with your target audience.

Various marketing strategies are in place which help determine the precise trends and interests of a certain demographic, and these are at the disposal of most brands today, thanks to the world wide web.

Once identified, they next imperative factor is engagement.

Connecting and creating a bond with a distinct audience is the key to success and what better way than to connect on an emotional level, through music.

Music strategy can be used as an emotional equity of sorts, to draw attention and more frequent engagement with an audience.

Being personal and consistent are two ways to maintain engagement with your audience.

John Lewis is a perfect example of a brand with a consistent and strong music strategy in place. Each year, the brand has involved established artists in creating their heat-warming and emotional Christmas narrative, which have become central in creating buzz and excitement for the arrival of that ‘Christmassy’ feeling.

In 2013, Lilly Allen’s highly-acclaimed cover of Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ saw the artist rate number one in the charts three consecutive weeks, selling over 400,000 copies and over 26 million YouTube views. Similarly Ellie Goulding’s involvement with the brand saw ‘Your Song’ gain over 61 million Youtube views. 

Effective branding is vital for ensuring brands create a footprint in the market and have edge over other competitive brands.

In creating and developing a brand identity, being aware of who you work with and what your brand represents, reflects the type of customers you want to attract. Using music creatively can help establish character and individuality for your brand – in other words it does the talking for you! When choosing the desired sound/artist, it is important they align with the mood of the brand/image in question. In modern day branding it is important to maintain a cohesive relationship with the artist and not become lost in their personal brand.

Again tapping into emotional equity, ask yourself would Jaws have such a profound identity were if not for the eerie pulsing main tune ‘Dunn dun – dun dunnn’. That created a deep-rooted status for the Grammy-winning 90’s blockbuster, and now it’s hard to even think about Jaws it without hearing the anthem.

In light of all this, a highly competitive music industry means brand must stay up to date with who is best for their brand.

Consistency is key for brand recognition and maintenance however as consumer behavior changes due to cultural and social influence it is important for brands to re-strategize their music model at at every opportunity in order to stay current and relevant.

In a world of handheld devices, instant messaging and shared experiences it is difficult to stay connected with consumers. However, if music can do the talking, and consumers are listening, have music be the medium through which your story is told and sold to your customers.

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