Spotify. Your Brand Lightning Rod. And Other Hipster Tales. By Bronwyn.

Spotify. Your Brand Lightning Rod. And Other Hipster Tales. By Bronwyn.

Did you see the movie Garden State? I saw it. Most of my hipster compadres saw it. It’s okay if you didn’t see it because it is pretty easily summed up as follows: A dramedy exploring the excruciating pain which is soul searching one’s 20s.

The movie itself is not necessarily wildly popular. It has more of a cult following, but the soundtrack, well that’s a whole ‘nother story. Zach Braff (director, writer, and actor for this little gem), basically made a mixed tape for himself and everyone else stewing around in their extended adolescence. Round of applause for Zach because his musical selections perfectly accompanied the movie and earned the man a Grammy. Today, the soundtrack exists as a sort of idyllic example of how music can help convey the emotion behind an experience. Now it is your turn.

photo credit: gdcgraphics via photopin cc

Pictured: Probably not you.
photo credit: gdcgraphics via photopin cc

No. You are not being charged to write, direct, and star in a film about your brand. However, I am demanding that you create an idyllic example of how music can help convey the emotion behind an experience. I am demanding that you create a soundtrack for your brand.

You’re probably asking why. Let me tell you why. Music is a content slow pitch that you can easily crush out of the park. There are words, there are feelings, there are shared experiences, there is familiarity, all wrapped up in 3 minutes of tunage. 45% of music listeners spend 10 hours or more a week listening to music. That’s 10+ hours a week of notes and words travelling directly into someone’s brain space that can be turned into a tantalizingly delicious brand experience. You know that song that you and your ex used to listen to that sends your stomach hurtling into the fetal position with a box of kleenex? That’s the power of music. Now we harness it and turn it into brand lightning.

Your lightning rod is Spotify. As of 2012, Spotify has 20 million users (that’s only 3.4 million less than Sirius XM Radio), and is the second most utilized social music platform behind Pandora (73% of music listeners utilize these social music sites by the way). Did I mention it is free? Because it is free. Unfortunately, this is the rub for Spotify: the freeness. Spotify pays about .70 cents in royalties for every $1 they collect from their paid users. Simply put, they are sort of desperate for revenue. In attempts to generate said revenue, Spotify did introduce the opportunity for companies to implement brand apps to promote a product (check out Reebok’s version here Reebok FitList.), but who’s got the money or time to develop and entire app and put it on Spotify? Not us.

You know what we do have time for? Good old fashion free Spotify. Good news for us, maybe bad news for Spotify.

You don’t need an entire app to create a musical experience, you just need a set of songs and a title that conveys the experience you are trying to ignite among your audience. My recommendation is to have someone within your business create a playlist and name it after your company or a specific product you are trying to promote. Still stumped?

Relaxing Rhubarb. Stop it! Stop eating the soap!

Relaxing Rhubarb. Stop it! Stop eating the soap!

Think of a custom soap company who is rolling out their new soap de jour, “Relaxing Rhubarb.” If Susie Soapmaker makes a “Relaxing Rhubarb” playlist chalked full of rain noises and loon calls backed by a jazz flute, she’s just created a brand experience. If the playlist is any good, it will probably generate some organic attention just from people searching “relaxing” within Spotify. If the playlist is actually good? Well… 94% of people will listen to a song because they saw their friends listening to it, so technically Susie’s Soaps could spread like wildfire…relaxing, relaxing wildfire. Rhubarb scented.

To be fair, it is a little more complicated than just that, but I hope you’ve been convinced to at least look into it. The fact of the matter is that marketing content is moving away from interrupting and towards engaging. As our relationship with technology and social promotion evolves, brand marketers are going to be required to construct a passive relationship with their target market. They’ll need to promote a non-invasive understanding of what they are selling through less aggressive mediums like Spotify, imgur, and sneaky product placement in movies like Garden State.

As always, I am available to help guide you through this process towards success. Just reach out. I’ll be there. I certainly won’t be on a date or anything. I’ll probably be watching Garden State…again.

Oh, and if you still don’t believe me about Spotify. Check out my playlists. I’ve carefully constructed a personal Spotify brand that might just match the tone of this blog post (snarky, single, and uberhip).

Mashable: Social Music Listening
IFPI Report on Digital Music Listening
Look! Forbes agrees with me too!
Another Mashable Infographic on Music
Changing Your Tune: A Quick Guide To Spotify

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