As a music enthusiast, I think I can speak for the majority of music connoisseurs when I say that there’s no feeling like putting your headphones on and just zoning out to the words you’re hearing. The human infatuation with music isn’t coincidental. Neuroscientists have discovered that listening to music not only stimulates dopamine which heightens positive emotions, but it can also arouse areas of the brain that don’t regularly function. With numerous positive effects, it’s not surprising that the music industry has one of the most loyal customer bases.
In a study conducted by Spotify, it was found that fans of “metal” music are the world’s most loyal listeners-with pop, folk, country and rock following. Why are all of these fans loyal to their genre? It’s inevitable that people are going to listen to the music that makes them feel the best; the artists that “speak” to them. They clearly feel a connection with these artists and luckily, artists today have no shortage of strategies to help fuel this connection.
So what can brands learn from the way artists are marketing themselves?
- Be authentic
- Find your niche and nurture it
With authenticity being an important attribute to Millennials when it comes to their purchasing behavior, brands can undoubtedly take note from musicians today. Social media is a gold-mine when the need for being authentic is at hand. With platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, musicians have their whole fan base in the palm of their hands. Snapchat tends to be the platform people think of when they think “video” despite other social media channels dipping into these waters. There’s something about seeing your favorite artist on their Snapchat story that makes you feel like you’re “in the know” or part of an exclusive group, seeing behind the scenes footage from a show or what they’re doing on their lazy days at home. Simple social media strategies like these give artists more authenticity and portrays them as relatable to their audiences. (As a country music fan, I’m always keeping up with Grammy award-winner, Maren Morris’ snapchat stories and admit I feel like we’re now BFF’s.)
By using social media in a way where the posts read organically instead of sounding like they’re automated by a PR agency, artists maintain that “human” aspect, like they’re one of us. Whether it’s through a Snapchat story or posting a makeup-less, Sunday morning selfie-any post that is generated by the artist them self is better than no post at all.
Brands can essentially use social media in the same fashion to maintain an authentic and transparent appeal. Did your HQ just move into a jaw-dropping, 20-story building downtown with the BEST view? Take a video, make a GIF, tweet an exclusive picture! Does your company have a CSR program and volunteer in your community? Show it off! Posting about company culture and values will help give your brand a life of its’ own and differentiate it from others in your industry. At Boundless, we always incorporate pictures and videos of volunteer work or team activities to show that we’re not living and breathing from behind a computer desk 24/7. By giving your social media platforms a personable tone, just like musicians, your audience will believe there’s actually a millennial expert Social Media Specialist managing your company’s social channels instead of an automated software, blasting out posts at the same time every single day.
Find your niche and nurture it
Keeping country music as the example, (even though artists like Beyoncé, Kanye West and Lady Gaga are all artists that could be used for this point) brands are going to want to find their niche and nurture it as best as they can. Texas Country artists connect with their audiences so well because they live amongst their fans, they’ve grown up by the places where their fans live, and they sing about experiences that 9 out of 10 of their fans have experienced. You won’t hear artists like Mike Ryan or Cody Johnson singing about flashy cars or expensive getaways, instead you’ll hear songs that listeners can relate to (and if even if you can’t, it will be a concept that’s realistic and not about the famous, exaggerated lifestyle).
By staying true to their roots and how they’ve grown up, Texas Country artists relate to their audiences so easily and naturally, which is why fans would argue it’s the most real music genre out there today. These artists know their audience and they certainly nurture them by playing little honky-tonk bars that only locals know, living up to the expectations that come with performing at events like the Houston Rodeo or the State Fair of Texas and even holding impromptu concerts for fans just because they feel like it.
Relating this back to brands, it’s actually as simple as it sounds. Nurture the people you’re targeting. If you’re Patagonia, you’re not going after consumers who are buying Gucci and Prada handbags; you’re targeting the outdoor enthusiasts who care about corporate social responsibility and sustainable brands. If your company sells kitchen gadgets, nurture your audience by supplementing customer purchases with a related kitchen tool or creating an exclusive member club with discounts and sales for members throughout the year. Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and think about what you’d want if you were the consumer, then do exactly that. Texas Country artists produce music that they want to produce, but they also consider their audience and want to create a connection. Brands can create the products they want to produce, but they need to consider the end-users as well to ensure there is a connection made that is strong enough to create a loyal customer.
This may be the easiest strategy to expand your audience (and often most fun when it comes to the music industry) while also increasing your loyalty from your existing audience. The first duo that comes to mind when I think collaboration in Texas Country music is Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen. With both artists having roots in the Hill Country, this collaboration is a no-brainer. Having two collaborative albums out already and performing countless shows together, Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen are a duo that always keeps the atmosphere fun, real and honest. Randy and Wade are friends in real life, (not just for show, shocking, I know) and they both know who they are and what they’re not. (In their words: “I don’t have hits, I’ve got standards.”)
An artist can be great on their own, but collaborating can take them to new heights, whether it’s creatively or growing their fan base. In a genre like theirs, it’s pretty easy to collaborate with just about anyone and keep fans satisfied, but the Rade or Wandy duo is one that not many will be able to beat!
When taking this concept and applying it to brands, it’s a bit trickier but it can have a positive, lasting impact on your company when done correctly. Take GoPro’s partnership with Red Bull for example. This partnership makes complete sense when you look at the two brands. GoPro is all about adventure and capturing moments no matter where you are, with insanely good quality. Red Bull is for the adventure-seeker in us all as well- whether you’re on the go, haven’t slept and need “wings,” or you’re about to jump out of an airplane and want to keep the adrenaline pumping, Red Bull’s got your back.
Now if GoPro partnered up with La-Z-Boy or Red Bull partnered with a melatonin supplement company, neither partnership would make much sense conceptually…and you may have some customers with identity crises and most likely some disturbed sleep schedules. The point is to make your partnerships meaningful and align with your brand overall. Going back, if you’re a kitchen gadget company, partner with an electric company and collaborate on a custom kitchen lighting fixture. If you’re a health food store, partner with local farms and non-profits in the area to benefit from each other’s mission and goals. In the end, you’ll want to collaborate with a company who relates to your value prop in order for the partnership to be successful and help increase your brand awareness and ultimately, your customer base. Being in the promotional product industry, handing out a bag is typically just a giveaway, but when working with our creative experts, we ensure there’s meaning behind the products our clients use to elevate their brand. Boundless collaborates with clients across various industries to help campaigns of all types come to life and ultimately make sure the products they choose align with their organization.
How does Boundless help increase customer loyalty?
At Boundless, we help our clients achieve their goals and retain customers by providing promotional products that are more than just your typical tchotchke. Our creative experts help source the latest, most innovative products, while ensuring that you’re providing value to your customers. When a single promotional product can generate up to 5,700 impressions, it’s crucial that every impression is a positive and long-lasting one.
Contact us today to see how we can collaborate to help you be authentic, and nurture your niche!