26th November 2013

Music and brand – it's a powerful mix

The power of music should never be taken lightly. Music allows brands to make an emotional connection with their customers, strengthening bonds and increasing loyalty.  Take a minute to think about how music influences our lives. Just hearing a certain chord or verse from a song can transport us back to a particular point in time, triggering both memories and emotions in a way that only music can do.
When you consider music and brand, you might think that music just provides a bit of background noise in adverts – but if you really tune in and look a little closer, you will see it is so much more than that. Music is a key part of communication that can stimulate the senses and evoke otherwise unreachable emotions – whilst all the while strengthening the all-important union between clients and customers.
A staggering 97% of consumers love music – and by combining music with brands, businesses are able to speak to their consumers when they are at their most passionate and their most responsive. Times are changing, and gone are the days when it was enough to use music to promote just one product – music is now used in conjunction with brands to deliver an entire experience, from the song you initially thought was ‘background noise’ in an advert to sponsored live shows and fully branded festivals and events. Everything is seamlessly interlinked to deliver a complete experience.
Key players in the brand-music industry include the likes of Coca-Cola, 02, Blackberry and Volkswagen, however labels and artists alike are now becoming much more proactive within the area of brand partnerships as well. As a result, more and more brands are starting to put aside large chunks of their marketing budgets to collaborate with artists and musicians. In fact, brand expenditure across festivals and artist endorsements topped £104.8 million last year, and is continuing to rise year on year.
That’s not to say that brand-artist collaborations are a new thing; they have actually been around for almost 50 years, ever since Coca-Cola’s 1965 adverts featuring Ray Charles. However, thanks to the explosion of social media and the part this has played in increasing the accessibility of celebrities and artists, brand-music collaborations are now growing at an exponential rate. Look at the success of the ‘Move to the Beat’ partnership between Mark Ronson and Coca Cola at the 2012 Olympics or Emeli Sande’s deal with MasterCard at the 2013 Brit awards. Everywhere you turn, artists and brands are joining together to deliver a new consumer experience.
Of course, there’s also some serious money to be made by both sides thanks to lucrative sponsorship and endorsement deals. Music-brand partnerships are no longer a taboo subject – in fact, it’s now considered cool to be involved with brands. Look at Alicia Keys who recently became the creative director of Blackberry, Florence + The Machine’s glamorous hook up with Bulgari or Beyonce’s slick new Pepsi advertisements – brand and music collaborations have officially become the epitome of cool.
But what’s the key to a successful brand-music partnership? Well, the aim of the game for both parties is to increase ROI, and of course at the core of both industries the desired result is customer loyalty and long lasting relationships. All participants in brand-music collaborations need to have a clear vision of objectives, scope and expectations, as well as sharing creative ideas, vision and passion – and above all, it is vital to match the right artist to the right brand. There are very different work ethics between the two industries, but as mutual understanding improves and develops, the relationships are getting stronger – meaning that brand-music partnerships are really being built to last.