Whether you’re a fan of pop music or not, it can be useful to look beyond the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’, strange haircuts, and synchronized dance moves of the latest Top 40 performers. It’s no surprise you’ll find many brand and advertising principles – the music industry has been perfecting self-promotion ever since Elvis first checked himself into the Heartbreak Hotel.
Pop music is simple and repetitive. Something simple is more easily understood and remembered. Repetition breeds familiarity, which many studies link to consumer preference. Therefore, your advertising design and content should be stripped down to the point where removing anything else will prevent the message and underlying concept from being understood. Repetition comes from your media buy. You don’t have any DJs playing your message ad nauseam like pop groups do. So make sure your ad spend allows customers the opportunity to see and hear your message enough times to become familiar with who you are and what you stand for.
A simple message will wear out faster than a more complicated one, even among fans. Pop groups minimize wearout by replacing one song in radio rotation with their next potential hit in quick succession. Keep your advertising just as fresh.
Be sure that your message resonates with your target audience. The broader your audience, the more general your message must be, or else you risk alienating potential customers. Pop gives us umpteen songs about the universal emotion of love; just as Pepsi, with an equally large audience, drives their advertising with the emotion of youth. What is the core insight that motivates the purchase of your product?
As much as your advertising should evolve, the product offering should stay consistent. Fans buy a band’s CD expecting it to sound much like the last one, much like the customers coming into your store expect the same product and service as their last experience with you. Meeting expectations and staying consistent in your offering is one of the best ways to build and maintain loyalty. How many bands have been able to remain popular after changing their look or sound, or putting out a poor quality product? Unless you’ve earned forgiveness by a strong track record of successes, any misstep will cause the loss of many fans outside the loyal core. Keep your product and service at Hit Parades standard or you may find your company ousted from the Top 40 where it becomes difficult to climb back up.
In the face of new threats from pirated music downloading, pop groups have had to find new ways to engage their fans and offer supplemental value to mitigate the drop in CD sales. Many of these tactics lay in the online space: bands have pages on social media sites, embed video content on their CDs, and offer online applications that allow fans to remix or mash-up their songs. How can your business use the internet to reach out to existing and new customers in new ways while still staying true to your core identity and offering?
Have a look at how your favorite groups are marketing themselves in the media and online. There could be some useful ideas to apply to your personal or business growth. So long as they’re not related to fashion.