Inside Track: The 4 Elements of Music Branding

Music is the world’s universal language. It helps express the inexpressible with an audio lexicon all of its own, and has the potential to amplify messages beyond words.

When sound is designed to enhance a brand’s persona and values, the connection forged with the audience resonates at a deeper emotional level. Music branding can be used to: win the hearts of a new audience, enrich an existing brand’s identity, trigger more frequent audience engagement, differentiate amongst competitors, awake associations, and turn audience loyalty into advocacy.

Just as a visual strategy is consistent across all touch points — so should a music branding strategy be across all “ear points”. What forms the foundation of this?

Our first INSIDE TRACK of 2019 introduces the framework of principles that Tracks & Fields developed in 2018: 4 ELEMENTS OF MUSIC BRANDING!

1. brand identity

When building and maintaining a brand identity – including its trademark, name, communications, and visual appearance – every little detail matters. It’s a delicate combination of upholding the brand’s core values, and communicating relevance & trustworthiness, while still being adaptable to market forces.

A brand identity is a primary way to communicate with the world, and a strong music branding campaign can have people humming your tune and thinking of your company for a long time after hearing it.

A crucial step of music branding is to define the music identity of the brand; one that will be a point of difference in a competitive environment. A brand’s personality and the objectives of a brand will help to define the music branding strategy, however determining a brand identity creates value for the three actors of music branding: musician, brand, customer.

2. audience preferences

For many brands, the best growth opportunities may fall outside of their core market, with new use cases or new audiences sitting in their blind spot.

Brands can counteract that by using insights gleaned from consumer behaviour, especially in relation to the consumption of music. Using social data, brands are now able to learn how to interact with their audience, common words to use, platforms to amplify the brand based on audience preference as well as notable intersections with music consumption.

Embracing these insights allows brands to make more informed decisions about their identity, marketing messages and their music branding strategies.


3. storytelling

The art of storytelling reaches back to the dawn of time. From childhood through adulthood, drawn towards the lessons we learn, the exciting journeys we embark upon, the knowledge we gain and the opportunity to unleash our imaginations.

Stories make the communication of messages easier. Storytelling is also one of the most powerful ways to breathe life into a brand.

When crafting your brand story, you must illustrate what your voice is, what you stand for and why it matters to the lives of the audience who has its own stories. Compelling brand stories serve to remind us of something sacred and valued about ourselves, and are unique because they require a fourth element – a call to action, which is often indirect.

Music branding naturally lends itself to storytelling, with the bonus of providing additional layers of connection, emotional cues and elicited emotions.

4. strategy of the campaign

Brand strategy is the planning of specific long-term goals to be achieved with the evolution of a successful brand.

A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions and competitive environments.

The key prompts to consider when developing a campaign strategy can be divided into four points:

  • Purpose – Your campaign’s purpose ought to be specific in that it serves as a differentiator between you and your competitors, whether that be functional or directional.
  • Consistency – Does the campaign align with your core message? Consistency contributes to brand recognition, which fuels customer loyalty. To avoid leaving potential customers struggling to put disconnected pieces together, a style guide may be useful.
  • Emotion – Find a way to connect with your customers, and use emotional triggers to strengthen your relationship and foster loyalty.
  • Flexibility – While consistency aims to set the standard for your brand, flexibility enables you to make adjustments that build interest and distinguish your approach from that of your competition. Variation keeps things fresh and human.

To take the next step toward realising your music branding project, please revisit our guide to the unique language of music briefings!

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