4 Tips on Curating the Perfect Playlist for Your Brand

You walk into a store, an unknown clothing store that just opened up last month, and you hear a fine tune blast out of the in-store speakers. You don’t know what song it is but you bob your head to the beat and the soft guitar strums and all of a sudden, you get a rush of elation. The store didn’t just capture your attention, it created a feeling, a feeling of serendipity and now that clothing store is embedded in your head.

In today’s digital world, the competitive landscape is becoming saturated with traditional media and digital design. The marketing medium is still visual dominated but brands have a hard time standing out.  A lot of brands put in time and effort in creating the perfect image or campaign with exquisite design, unique fonts and memorable content only to receive little recognition. Consumers are exposed to thousands of visual designs everyday and are desensitized with all the traditional media that focuses on how brands should look. But given the multimedia possibilities that are available to any brand, maybe we should start thinking about how brands should sound.

Music and marketing go together like coffee and cream, but many brands are not utilizing the power of sound enough in their campaigns. Non-traditional media such as music are coming into play because of how omnipresent they are. They integrate seamlessly into the the mind of the consumer and create a more lasting impact than any other medium. Music is connected with emotion and memory and we can easily understand how we can be reminded of a special moment or a unique feeling we had through hearing a particular song. Whether it’s the first song you and your wife first danced to or a summer playlist you and your friends jammed out to on a daily basis, music forms those strong connections that last. For brands, music not only helps cultivate an emotional connection with customers, it fixes brands in their memory.

Looking for tips on curating the perfect playlist for your brand? Well like all marketing mediums, it takes time and a good sense of your brand.

1. Identify Descriptors

You want the music you are sharing to match the ambience and identity of your brand. Identify a group of keywords from your mission statement or about section that accurately reflects your brand and then discover or dig through your library of music that matches those descriptive words. Whether you want your customers to think your brand as upbeat, mellow, angelic, or alternative, narrow down your key words so that your message is clear. Remember, you won’t get it perfect the first time so start with a group of words and a playlist of songs and adjust it from there.

2. Be Careful of Explicit Songs

Unless your brand is associated with explicit language, it is not a good idea to add explicit music in your branding and marketing efforts. You don’t want people to make negative associations with your brand. If there is a song that perfectly captures the essence of your brand but contains one or two explicit words in it, you might have to do something extra thinking to see if it’s worth the risk of negative associations. But in general, try to minimize songs that are blatantly explicit.  

3. Leverage Unknown Artists

Even with music it can be tough to stand out especially if you are using popular music in your brand message. Try searching for undiscovered artists and curate a list of songs that most people probably haven’t heard of before. By sharing undiscovered music you have the potential to be that source of serendipity and create that first connection with your customers. So everytime that song pops up in a radio, stream or in another playlist, people can find themselves thinking about your brand.

4. Be Consistent

Like all branding efforts, consistency is key. Be sure to always expand your playlists or create new ones for different moods, look for new music and find creative ways to connect and deliver.

Music has the amazing power to influence behavior and evoke emotion and many brands are not tapping into that power. Choose four or five songs that really resonate with your brand and start swaying your audience. Happy curating!