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Authenticity and Creativity Can Help Elevate a Music Brand's Overall Presence As consumption of music continues to grow globally, brands should take note of music streamers

By Ashley Rose

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Brands will spend $24 billion on North American sponsorships in 2018, and more than two and a half times that globally. Although sports represent the bulk of that spending, music sponsorships and campaigns have represented the fastest-growing segment for several years in a row, meaning more brands than ever before are tapping into entertainers to help reach consumers.

This was seen in early 2019, as brands doubled down on their use of music for the Super Bowl. For instance, PepsiCo leveraged music to promote its new Doritos product, which ended up being the second most-discussed brand on social media channels during the game, immediately following its ad starring Chance the Rapper and the Backstreet Boys. This trend is one that is growing as more brands tap into the 91 per cent of those who listen to music more than 24 hours a week. As consumption of music continues to grow globally, brands should take note of music streamers. Streamers feel more connected to brands, increasing brand loyalty and making them more than twice as likely to pay more for specific brands and 61 per cent more likely to recommend brands to a friend according to a recent study from Spotify for Brands.

These points prove that brands need to develop a long-term music marketing strategy to reach consumers who are being hit with more content and distractions now than ever before. To help inspire your brand to connect with music in a more authentic way, here are three brand partnership campaigns which demonstrate how a mix of authenticity and creativity can help elevate a brand's overall presence in the marketplace.

Rita Ora X Conecuh: The Chief Creative Partner

From Frank Sinatra and Jack Daniels to Diddy and Ciroc, there is a lengthy history of musicians and alcohol brands joining forces. Now, Rita Ora, the celebrated pop icon from the UK, is the latest singer to team up with a liquor brand, Conecuh, to launch its newest tequila, Prospero Tequila Stateside. The twist is that Ora isn't just a typical brand ambassador, but also Conecuh's new Chief Creative Partner. By allowing Ora to have more creative control of the product, the brand is able to connect more deeply and genuinely with her growing fan base. This alliance exhibits how leveraging an artist's influence, overall creative energy and insight can distinguish brands in competitive business environments.

Equity Residential X Creative Direction Agency: The Afterglow Concert Series

Live Nation's The Power of Live study found that two-thirds of Gen X, Y and Zers (spanning ages 13-49) go to at least one concert or festival a year, with the majority of those attending multiple events. That is why Equity Residential's Afterglow Concert Series in partnership with Creative Direction Agency, CAD Management, and Songsmth Productions is tapping into the power of live music. By bringing over 20 rising artists to the company's Washington, DC and New York City properties, including Rosette, Alexis Diosa, Coco Robert, and Makaila, the residential company is able to use music to create a community setting, ultimately setting it apart from other real estate competitors. Additionally, Equity Residential took it a step further by making the shows available via live stream through New York-based startup Limelight, a mobile video app exclusively for live music performances. This campaign is a great example of how brands can better engage consumers with using a mix of both music and emerging technology platforms.

Live.Me X Khalid: Brining Fans Behind The Music

R&B star Khalid celebrated his 21st birthday with an epic party in Beverly Hills, and Live.Me was there to stream all the action in real time to its community of 84 million users around the world. The livestream, which was broadcasted exclusively on the Live.Me app, featured an interview with Khalid, who shared fun tidbits about himself and read birthday wishes from his fans live on camera. In addition to the Live.Me broadcasters, who were invited by Khalid to join him at the party, a few Live.Me users even won signed copies of his debut album, American Teen. This campaign didn't just capitalize on one of the most popular artists currently in the business, but it connected fans to his more personal side, which enhanced the campaign's authenticity.

Campaigns like these are reshaping the way companies can employ music to connect to broader audiences: the musician's fans, the brand's loyal consumers, and the hype of the general public. To connect to consumers, it doesn't take a massive artist or an overblown budget. What it takes is authenticity - connecting to fans by making the artists part of the whole program.

Ashley Rose

Grammy nominated songwriter and CEO of The Code


Ashley is the Founder & CEO of The Code as well as a partner at Creative Direction Agency, the joint venture that serves as the umbrella company for CAD Management, Golden Community LLC. & The Code. Ashley is also a Grammy-nominated songwriter who has written and produced for artists including Kat De Luna, Chris Brown, Sevyn Streeter, Tamar Braxton, and G-Eazy.

Ashley attended Morgan State University earning a degree in Music with a concentration in Vocal Performance.

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