A Rush of Blood to the Head…how business can learn from music

Music transports us to times past, emotions felt, connections made. How can you harness this power with your brand_

I was sitting at my desk prepping midterm questions when suddenly I was in my old apartment, 15 years ago. The balcony door was open, a gentle breeze ruffled the curtains. Gus and Jello, the two cats who owned the place were lounging in the sun, one perched on the balcony rail, the other curled in a chair.

The door opened and my roommate, who I’ve known since kindergarten walked in. The furniture was hand-me-down, eclectic. The TV was 19 inches, colour, and fat. The feeling was excitement, anticipation, and reflection all wrapped up. What would be on the agenda tonight, a never ending menu of things to do when you are young.

All of that took place in the span of seconds. All of those memories, the tingle of excitement at remembering and connecting to moments in the past. And all it took was a song. One song, to come up on my playlist, randomly selected, to perfectly transport me in time.

The music industry has got connection to emotion pegged. Because isn’t that what music is all about, transporting you to a moment, to a feeling, to a connection.

The best brands get it. The brands that have a cult following, that create irrational loyalty and followers. They find the power in the story, in the connection to emotions, and they exploit it, powerfully and purposefully. AirBNB talks about how they are “not a company driven company, but a community driven company.” And it’s clear in their approach of creating less strangers in this world by sharing our tables, our homes, our windows in their #mankind campaign.

So many brands have gotten great at advertising, but they forget to create propositions that people actually care about. And so I bring you back to music, and feelings and emotions – connections.

The advertisements that get the most play, that get noticed the most, aren’t actually selling you anything, they are telling you a story, getting you where you feel. Think about Budweiser’s Lost Puppy commercial that get’s you right in the feels. Or Molson Canadian’s Global Beer Fridge that isn’t about selling beer, but about connecting with other cultures as the Canadian way of life. (Only now am I realizing that I have picked two beer companies for examples).

So it’s time to think about your brand, and your story. Whether your brand is you personally and how you interact with the world, or your company’s brand – how are you connecting? How are you driving emotional interactions? How are you transporting people to different times, feelings, and memories? It is amazing the return on investment you can generate when you connect to a community and feelings.

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