Monday, February 16, 2009

How can brands stand out in the music space?

When it comes to brands, music is one hell of a crowded marketplace.

The two Cs - clutter and credibility - means that brands really need a reason to be in this space. They need to be involve audiences in the right way and genuinely enhance the music experience for the people that matter - fans and audiences. Otherwise there just ain't room.

Bands like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails understand this, but it's a more difficult thing for brands to differentiate themselves in this way.

My colleague Brett pointed this one out to me. Nokia's involvement in the Good Vibrations music festival is a good example of a brand doing smart things in music. Especially in a festival environment where signage, promo girls and water pistols are the norm.

Reason to be there
You could send an SMS and download the Nokia mobile festival guide with chances to win freebies, VIP passes (worth it for the loos), Nokia Comes With Music phones, and most importantly, the festival map and program. You know that bit of scrunched up soaked paper that you keep losing throughout the day, forcing you to talk to strangers and search underneath empty beer cans in the dark?

Genuinely enhance the experience
Nokia provided free WiFi access across the festival (apparently this was a little on the dodgy side).

Involve the audience
Nokia set up a Mobile ‘portal’ (available through WiFi) that provided info about the day and let you rate your favourite acts (good idea not to make it too hard). And if you enjoyed the music, they plan on loading up the top picks on a Best of Good Vibrations playlist available on the Nokia Music Store after the event.

What's your favourite brand in music example?


Nathan Bush said...

This is a topic that is very close to my heart Kate and I actually wrote a post suggesting exactly what Niokia did over here -

I sent that post to the organisers of V-Fest. They got back to me saying that they had been doing mobile festival guides for the past two years - however, everyone I spoke to that went didn't know they existed. Maybe they need a stronger push (with help from corporate friends such as Nokia) to popularise it.

For the record, I'm in love with Lily Allen. No matter how big she becomes she keeps it personal and entertaining through her myspace, twitter, blog etc etc - creating a true connection with fans.

Kate Richardson said...

Nathan, I just read your post and who knows, maybe someone at Nokia read it too because it's pretty spot on in terms of their activation.

Maybe V Festival will upp the ante this year.

Matt Granfield said...

Not surprising Nokia are trying to kick some festival goals when the iPhone has completely changed the playing field! That's my favourite brand in music. Such a shame that it's so hard to get reception at most festivals though :)