What Makes Great Brand Partnerships

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Great brand partnerships can bring lasting impact for musicians, brands and fans alike. But what exactly makes a great brand partnership?

Marketers, planning a consumer-targeted branding campaign usually includes a way to incorporate numerous senses. Designers choose colors and patterns that are the most appealing or trending for the season. Engineers determine how the product will feel to the buyer. Test kitchens perfect tastes and smells. As for the sense of hearing, naturally marketers consider brand partnerships with musical artists.

Ongoing research points to something quite unexpected in the way people perceive music. Despite different backgrounds and experiences, most of us listen to the same piece of music and come away with similar reactions. Music links us together. That connection is exactly what marketers seek to tap. To associate their product with the same song that makes a population feel good is marketing gold.so

Brands need music and the artists who create it. They know that music artists have the unique ability to relate to audiences across media while building buzz. That’s where brand partnerships come in.

Why Should Artists Look to Enter Into a Brand Partnership?
A core group of die-hard fans is nice to have. However, to sustain a lasting career, musicians must constantly think of how to reach bigger and bigger audiences. Brand partnerships bring with them an entirely fresh crowd of fans eager for a new sound. New social media accounts and channels become available for pushing the message, along with the music, directly to people who want to hear it. Paired with attractive product imagery and choreographed within a slick branding campaign, your music remains unforgettable.

For artists, brand partnerships also mean a lucrative revenue stream via sync licenses. A music synchronization license allows for a particular piece of music to be used, or “synced,” in a commercial, television show, film, video game, toy, etc. A company must obtain the sync license to legally use a song whether the artist is signed with a label, has a publisher or is completely indie. Regardless of who represents them, artists should know and appreciate their own worth. They deserve to be compensated at a fair price, especially if the brand is large or iconic.

A brand partnership is a collaboration. It is where art and business meet.

What Makes A Brand Partnership Great?
Authenticity is key for both parties. A brand that does nothing more than slap a banner across a stage is missing the point of using music to further their message.

Music is a powerful relationship tool.

How best can brands harness this power? They must bring value to the relationship they have, not just with the artist, but with the fans. Value in this sense may mean serving the fans with event pre-registration, downloadables for phone and desktop screens at release time, or anything that adds to the listener experience. Truly understanding the artists and their fans and culture lends to authenticity by showing that the partnership is more than printing logos on every available surface. If the fans feel valued, that will reflect positively on the brand.

Brands should also let the music drive the message and give the artist the space to deliver it. It’s the musician’s creative juice and personal connection with fans that brands are ultimately after.

Artists can do their part by remaining consistent to the brand with which they’ve agreed to partner. Hopping from brand to brand not only dilutes the message but waters down their own image. If an artist has committed to a particular brand of energy drink, it’s essential that they like, consume and keep on hand that energy drink. The same concept applies to too many partnerships. One or two organic relationships for the long-term is best. Otherwise, the message becomes simply advertisement and too easily ignored. Consistency matters.

Finally, artist input is crucial. They should familiarize themselves with the overall goal of the brand and be willing to speak on behalf of their fans.

The best relationships are the ones that start with the right spirit and the mutual goal of making a lasting impact. A great brand partnership will accomplish what few other associations can–leaving fans, brands and artists feeling valued and respected.

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