India is a land of 27 states, 7 union territories, 122 major languages and 1599 other languages and multiple forms and genres of music. In this vast landscape of diversity, it definitely takes more than traditional methods of marketing to ensure visibility, brand recall, customer loyalty and all that you plan to achieve when you sit and allocate your marketing budgets. The music used in your communications has a far greater effect on the consumer than most marketers think.
“Music is kind of the unsung hero of advertising,” says Daniel Jackson, CEO of London-based Cord Worldwide, a music licensing firm specializing in music in branding. Believe it, or not! Music plays a vital role in your marketing, and it shouldn’t be the lowest on priority as you plan! And by the end of this article, I’ll be able to convince you as to why!
Each Talent, Festival and like IPs, come with their own followers and fans! There is a whole existing set of followers of music and fans who are your potential consumers. Multiply your visibility by artist collaborations and festival collaborations. This can be done via various channels and methods. Ensure consistency once you find your right match!
A brilliant example for CocaCola to establish a cultural identity with their brand was starting the Coke Studio series. Coke Studio’s channel on YouTube has 1.8 Million subscribers, they average out to 4.5 Million viewers per month! If we come down to numbers in terms of impressions, increased in sales, revenue from digital streams itself, you’d see the true power of this collaboration. Coke Studio series is a great example of a long-term relationship between the musicians and the brand, directly connecting them to the joint viewership of fans and consumers. Increased Visibility!
Music fans are loyal! The formula is simple, the moment you (as a brand) attach yourself to the artist or a festival, you end up sharing the fan’s loyalty! From consuming digitally, to buying merchandise, to buy tickets, and more, fans are always consuming. Have you ever compared your social media traction to that of an artist with a similar-sized following? The difference is staggering, showcasing a reason in itself to use music in marketing.
Kanye West’s Yeezy Boost collaboration with Adidas Originals is a brilliant example to share how fan’s loyalty and brand loyalty when combined had the Yeezy Boost 350 Low, West’s second style in the line, sold out in just 12 minutes. West has just one shoe collaboration, but the entrepreneur and rapper has carefully crafted his fashion image, and his many followers watch him closely. The result of such brand-building has been one of the most-buzzed-about sneaker releases of the year: the Yeezy Boost, which debuted during New York Fashion Week.
When you as a brand plug yourself into a music property (Talent, Festival, Concert, gig series etc), you’re opening multiple modes of engagement via the channel you invest into. It could be the clothes that the artists wear or even the technology used at the festivals. From pop-up shops, branded tents and interactive events hosted by relevant brands inside the festival grounds, as well as off-site, digital influencer-driven events that create content to engage both festival-goers and the audiences watching from home, to festival fashion collections, the competition is fierce and growing every year.
An interesting example of engaging your customers via music is Ola’s partnership with Apple Music, for the immersive in-car entertainment experience. It’s was an excellent way of engaging their rider, creating a unique experience through the journey via Ola Play Rides. This launch followed in the footsteps of Uber, which had partnered with Spotify in 2014. The integration was present on Uber and Spotify and was available on all Uber and Spotify Premium users on iOS and Android.
Genres and artists, build a tribe behind them. Music fanship is both deeply tribal and emotional. It is driven by sponsorship, events, merchandising, media, social influences, individual stars, and group popularity. It’s very interesting to understand fan psychology, be it in sports or music. The fans are the ones contributing most of the revenue to the music industry. They’re the fans buying merchandise, supporting artists on Patreon, going to shows, and posting on social media about their favorite artists. Brand’s by banking on a specific music culture can attach their brand identity to support a community. This is will result in sharing loyalty and increase awareness as well as attachment towards your brand, as to the artist.
One of the best-suited examples would be of Adidas Originals India, that decided to invest in street culture, constituting of Hip-Hop, R&B, Rap and more. In India, Adidas originals were noted investing into independent artists who acted as one of their most influential ambassadors to drive the originals culture in India. Believe it or not, via multiple channels they delivered their support towards street culture and gained the trust of a whole community in India. Today they stand to be the only brand India relates to when it comes to street culture. This proves to be not only cost effective, but it saw lightening effects on the rest of the community. People wear Stan smiths and Jeremy Scott, or Yeezy Boost almost like a jersey representing street art!
Brand recall plays a crucial role in getting more customers to stick with your brand as well as to buy your brand repeatedly.When you as a customer buy a certain product, once the product is finished or deteriorated, instinctively you would like to purchase from the same brand, as the experience, it has offered you was pleasant. When you use music for marketing, you’re creating an unaided brand recall. “Unaided Brand Recall Value” is an essential aspect marketer must look at in today’s competitive business environment as it would mean a competitive advantage against their rivals.
A brand’s value is directly connected to its presence in the memory of consumers. There is no better way to establish this connection than via music. Remember the famous tune of Airtel? It already is ringing in your head, isn’t it? Doesn’t this often happen whenever you think of Airtel or vice versa? It's a great example of using music to strengthen brand recall.
While Indian music industry in India is relatively new, it's BIG and growing by the day. Social media has removed almost all barriers to entry, allowing anyone to become a successful artist. It’s a country where film industry drives music industry. There are of case studies that can be implemented and experimented in the music space when it comes to collaborations.
Now Imagine having an energy drink that uses a local rock artist’s music in your marketing video. Say the band shoots their own music video, and they choose to drink your product in the video. Then the video goes viral. You may decide to further your relationship with the band and sponsor which states they drink your product on stage at shows. Now their song has become a hit on the radio, and they go on a world tour. Your visibility from sponsoring the band could help grow your business into a worldwide empire. It might sound unrealistic, but it might be more probable than you think.
You know nothing is for free! But, in this case what you need to consider when you decide to advertise with music is how scalable this cost can be, along with your options. If you want to align with an artist that’s sold millions of albums, it might cost you millions. But, local and regional artists – many of whom will become larger, successful artists – are a great alternative. Local artists on the rise have high levels of engagement and loyalty because their audience is a mix of fans and friends. Plus, the cost of aligning your brand with a local artist is much more affordable than you think.
Indian Independent artists, you’d be surprised to know have a global flavor to them as much as they are culturally rich, fresh and diverse. They have a huge potential to take your brand a long way, you’re talking about a mutually benefitting partnership here and banking on some of the most influential artists. To name a few extremely talented Indian independent artists, Nucleya, Prateek Kuhad, Parekh and Singh, are all GLOBAL! Why not grow with them! Or how about helping some artists grow for that matter?
Conversions, in this case, work like magic! After all, it’s influencer marketing, as organic & direct as it can get.
Film soundtracks are frequently used to demonstrate the power of music to make an emotional connection. When we think of Bollywood, we think of bright vibrant musicals appreciated and celebrated globally! Music in marketing isn’t just a passive background: whether it’s attention grabbing or supporting your message it still communicates.
Here’s what you have to remember, pairing the wrong music with your brand may have a strongly detrimental effect: if consumers interpret the emotional messages of your music as contradicting your brand personality and values they may start to distrust the brand. If Air India used heavy metal, for example, it would contradict their classic image, don’t you agree?
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