The power of music in branding: making the connection

It is vital in today’s markets that brands make an emotional connection with consumers to avoid losing them to bargain hunting. It’s not news, we’re all aware of it, but how do you achieve it? It’s not that easy.

One thing that can get forgotten is music. The music used in your communications has a far greater effect on the consumer than most marketers think. Music is often sidelined, an after- thought. Tracks can be chosen because they are what is playing on the radio at the moment the decision is made.

Film soundtracks are frequently used to demonstrate the power of music to make an emotional connection, significantly Jaws; but the connection becomes so much clearer when looking at the Oscar-winning, silent film The Artist. Many people today have never seen a silent film and would baulk at the idea of paying to see one and yet this film is a massive box office hit.

In the main, the narrative of the film is given in the silent action shown on screen (and the occasional speech card), while the emotions are in the music: the lack of speech means that the music is required to carry more emotional content. This means that the reason that you laugh and cry with this film is largely due to the soundtrack: the well-deserved winner of the Oscar for best original score. You care about the people you are watching because of the character and emotions shown in the music.

What lessons, or reminders, can marketers take from this?

Music in marketing isn’t just a passive background: whether it’s attention grabbing or supporting your message it still communicates.

Pairing the wrong music with your brand may have a strongly detrimental effect: if consumers interpret the emotional messages of your music as contradicting your brand personality and values they may start to distrust the brand. If British Airways used heavy metal, for example, it would contradict their classic image.

Consider some music guidelines in a similar way to your visual brand guidelines. What are the dos and don’ts of music selection for your brand?

Interested? Why not contact us to find out how Purple Frog could help you use music for your brand at or on 01844 295170.

About the author

Boss of Digital. Swindon fan. And frantic music collector.

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