The Archive July 02, 2015

Creating Emotional Brand Connections Through Music

The Soundtrack to A Brand’s Life

Here’s a thing you should consider. The emotional connection that a musical score (and/or soundtrack) creates can be just as memorable as the best of the best in digital and traditional advertising — if not more so.

When it comes to imprinting the brand voice in consumers’ minds, visual and auditory content takes precedence over written. The whole “a picture is worth more than 1,000 words” idea is fairly accurate (unless you ask Google).

It’s an emotional and auditory proxy profile of the internal brand.

Music. Nonstop.

At Britton, one of the first things we do when we work with a client is create a branded playlist. This works as a musical and emotional addition to our client’s brand DNA. We also create playlists as companion pieces to our buyer personas.

There’s no medium that can evoke, awaken and affect our emotions the way music can. Music can pump us up. Music can cheer us up. Music can make us remember a long-lost loved one or a recent addition. Music can take us back to our first kiss or to the first time we had our heart broken.

To us, music is part of a brand.

Music’s importance in marketing is on the rise. And we have the millennial generation to thank for this.

Maybe we don’t always think about it, but the subconscious imprint music leaves on our memory is substantial. That is why every brand should create its own playlists.

The Soundtrack of Our (Branded) Life

Here at Britton, we use Spotify, a music-streaming service that allows you to create branded playlists and share your musical taste.

We have our own ever-evolving Spotify playlists that we share weekly with our social followers. We have playlists curated from our staff, playlists for events, playlists for seasons, and playlists for clients and campaigns we’re working on. We even created a playlist for our big office move.

But most importantly, we have our own branded playlist, This Is Britton. It’s a musical journey into the psyche of both us and our brand.

To us, music is part of a brand. It’s part of the makeup. It’s part of the values, the mission, the people, the pulse. Music can be a window into that much-belabored, hard-to-communicate intangible: the brand essence and equity.

Music Maturity

Another aspect of music that bears thought is the fact that our musical tastes and preferences evolve as we mature. What we listened to when we were 15 is different from what we listen to now. Sure, the core of our musical foundation is still there, but as we mature, we (usually) get more open-minded toward musical influences. We evolve. The bands we listen to, if they are fortunate enough to have longevity in the business, evolve as well. They hone their craft, and their music matures as their influences and tastes evolve.

OK, I think I’m going to start receiving royalties for the use of “evolve” if I keep this up.

Music and Movies

There’s another industry that is effective at using music to evoke emotion. Yes, you’re correct: the movie industry.

Moviemakers know all this stuff. They know the importance of a good score. They know that the memorability of a film is often tied to its soundtrack. Moviemakers know this and take advantage of it.

When I hear “Ecstasy of Gold,” by Ennio Morricone, it conjures up visuals of Clint Eastwood and his cigarillo; of Eli Wallach’s character, Tuco, being brutalized by Lee Van Cleef’s Angel Eyes character; and of the most famous Mexican standoff in cinematic history. But it also reminds me of my home in Sweden. Our black leather couch. My dad devotedly talking about the coolness factor of Clint Eastwood.

When I hear “Burn,” by The Cure, it evokes visuals of rain and darkness, and the much-too-early demise of Brandon Lee (and of arguably the best soundtrack in history, for the movie The Crow). But it also brings back memories of hanging out with my friend Chris. Eating chips and staying up until 4 a.m. watching B movies on school nights.

When I hear “Time,” by Hans Zimmer, it conjures up images of a spinning totem and a slow-mo reunion that brings tears to my eyes. It also brings back memories of my own kids and how I see life differently now that I’m a father.

(Spoiler Alert: The totem is just a representation of our current inner emotional state and will manifest the result that we, the viewers, are most likely to relate to. At least I think so.)

Our Musical Future

Music allows us to create visual representations of memories. It allows us to use all our senses and remember the feel, the look, the smell of a particular instance when that song was playing.

This is an opportunity for brands. To create that sort of emotional imprint on potential and future customers could be invaluable.

What brands do you think are using music the right way?

Photos: Shutterstock

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