12 Mar How Music Can Build Your Brand: A Lesson from Coke
When it comes to using music as a branding tool, Coca-Cola dominates. According to Billboard Magazine, its history of branding with music goes all the way back to 1899. By the 1960s, artists such as The Who, The Supremes, and Aretha Franklin had performed more than 150 original Coke jingles. In fact, the music industry is still so intrinsic to Coke’s branding, it is infusing capital directly into the music industry, by hiring mega musical artists (such as Nicki Minaj) as spokespeople, acquiring its own music library (Music Dealers), and by forming a $10 million “strategic global partnership” with the online streaming music website Spotify, just to name a few examples.
So what can smaller businesses learn from Coca Cola’s musical branding success? Here are four lessons Coke can teach every business.
1. Don’t underestimate the power of music.
Music has been around since humans were humans. It gets stuck in our head. It can change our mood. It’s everywhere. Now, more than ever, people are consuming music in higher and higher quantities, on their iPods, smartphones, tablets, television, and the Internet. Don’t miss out on opportunities to tap into this powerful relationship everyone has with music.
2. Use music to promote the abstract qualities of your brand, such as mood and lifestyle.
Branding is about more than selling a product; it’s about selling a philosophy, a way of life. Coca-Cola doesn’t just sell sugary brown liquid, it sells excitement, refreshment, youth. Using music to convey those experiences allows advertisers to tap into listeners’ sense memories, unlocking feelings and instincts. Coca-Cola’s ability to reach audiences’ emotions through music creates a much stronger bond to their brand than merely telling people their soda tastes good.
3. Invigorate up your website and marketing materials.
Music is all over Coke’s website and social media. Having that focus on music attracts more than just consumers looking for information about the company; it also attracts music lovers. By making music a focus, Coke’s promotional materials gain another–more fun!–dimension. Place a music player on your website for visitors to listen to while they browse information on your products or services. Give away music to everyone who signs up for your newsletter or likes your page on Facebook. Spice up your YouTube videos by adding a soundtrack. Once you decide to use music as part of your marketing strategy, the possibilities are endless.
4. The dangers of misuse for music are high. Work with people who know what they’re doing.
Music licensing is a complicated game, a fact that leads many businesses to throw up their hands and decide not to use music at all. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Find a knowledgeable music partner that has expertise in industry rules (such as Transition Music Corporation), and they can handle all the legal stuff while helping you find the right music for your brand.