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?