Balance your heritage with your need to be innovative.
If your music brand has a long heritage, you live on a razor’s edge. How do you celebrate your company’s storied past while satisfying the need to be innovative and edgy? How do you balance the past with the present and work toward the future?
If you’re not careful, the past will weigh you down. It’s easy to get too caught up in your heritage and build your music marketing around legend, especially when you don’t have new products in the pipeline and new stories to tell.
But don’t discount your storied past. It’s essential to your brand essence and deeply ingrained in your company’s DNA. Your past is one of your greatest strengths.
Chances are, if you’ve been around for 50 years or more, your music brand has a hard core group of enthusiasts who will love you forever, who will buy your products and sing your praises to anyone who’ll listen. That’s great, but that segment of your audience is older. It needs to be continually refreshed.
You also need to grow younger enthusiasts, a segment of your audience that will stay with you in the coming decades and serve as ambassadors for your brand. These younger musicians are looking for the latest instruments, sound and gear with a critical eye. What could a legacy music brand offer them?
One word: authenticity.
Music itself is in a state of constant churn. New genres are created. Lines blurred between existing genres. Instruments are updated. Gear keeps up with technology.
If you’ve survived and thrived for more than five decades through constant change and industry upheaval, if major artists of the past have created milestone work with your product and current artists are using your product, then you’ve accumulated an astonishing amount of brand equity. You are the real deal and possess genuineness rare in music today.
Younger players seek authenticity. Older players desire a proven quantity with musical and historical gravitas. Develop a brand campaign that celebrates your heritage. It will reinforce your older audience’s purchasing decisions and make them feel good about your music brand.
Develop product advertising that showcases your latest stuff but with one catch: it should have a timeless, classic feel that’s consistent with your brand image. Deliver news about your latest product release in a way that keeps one foot planted firmly in your fabled history.
Magazines and e-zines are a great way to balance past and present. Articles about your brand’s history can lead in to stories about what’s next. Well-produced magazines let you join past and present better than any other media vehicle–a skillful combination of education and entertainment.
Incorporate your heritage into social media initiatives.
Rolling Stone magazine posts classic photos and the stories behind them on Instagram that help reinforce its position as a rock authority. Find a smart social media strategy to keep your brand’s history in front of your audience in a casual way. Even apps can incorporate some of your brand’s history while providing your audience new ways to interact with your company.
Music is an ancient art.
If you’re a legacy music brand, you’re a part of history. Your products have probably played a role in making music that matters. As a brand, you should be celebrating your past while keeping an eye on the future.