21 Oct

Music Partnerships: A growing pillar to your marketing strategy

Written by Chris Wilson, Head of Brand Partnerships.

Everyone knows consumer audiences are becoming increasingly fickle and disloyal to brands. Trying to engage and build trust with them remains one of the most pertinent challenges for marketers across the board. Developing a music focussed element to marketing strategies has become an increasingly prevalent way to help address this, targeting fan audiences through music events or through the rights to consumers’ favourite artists to help drive brand affinity and loyalty.


Some brands are exceeding expectations by developing creative and daring marketing work in the music space that aligns perfectly with their proposition, whereas others are being left behind. Co-Op’s work across numerous festivals over the last 18 months is unique and delivers a host of opportunities for the brand to engage with new consumer audiences. The activation provided festival goers the chance to purchase their ‘must have’ festival products onsite, rather than having to carry their food, beverage and personal care goods from the carpark through to the campsite, a very arduous task for anyone who has done it!


Also, Fred Perry’s recent deal with Nicholas Daley to celebrate shared interest in contemporary culture and fashion, has done well. It provided the perfect platform to launch a new range focussed around the heritage of the era and the type of music produced.


Growth vs Opportunity 


Big industry players, such as Universal, Sony and Warner Records offer brands a ready-made platform to reach fans via their established artists, however, making these partnership campaigns meaningful, where there’s an equal trade-off for brands is not necessarily straight forward.


To do this, brands must first understand their target audiences and how to engage them. With the number of opportunities to partner with brands and rights holders across music on the rise, it’s important to evaluate what kind of partnership you’re looking to create. There are numerous options available, so you need to establish the best one for your brand; is it by creating a live experience event with top talent? Or by co-branding a content series online to engage audiences digitally? Something that online communities like Tastemade or Jungle Creations are doing successfully recently.


Understanding what will work and what generates the results you deserve is an important place to start. There’s also the type of genre and type of activation to take into consideration.


Prior to developing the strategy, brands should think about:


  • Target audience insights
  • The channels that will help deliver the right engagement
  • The launch strategy
  • How the partnership campaign affects the wider marketing strategy
  • Whether the partnership illustrates brand values in the right way. For example, are the two brands aligned with a sustainability message? Targeting the right audience? Tackling a similar goal or objective?


How do I develop a music partnerships strategy?


  • Ring fence budget for the whole project
  • Identify how to best reach target consumers
  • Identify which musicians/genres are a fit for your brand and target consumers
  • Establish what the best possible partnership campaign could look like
  • Create an approach for these musicians based around your vision
  • Negotiate terms of rights
  • Collaborate and create the marketing campaign
  • Bring it to life!


What opportunities are out there?


It’s important that everyone involved is clear on the mutual benefits of the partnership. It’s exciting! Rights holders get the chance to create meaningful campaigns for world class brands, while brands have the chance to work with exceptional talent and create truly authentic work that engages consumers and changes perceptions.


Finding the right partner


Ingenuity has extensive experience helping brands develop an effective partnership offering, we can help brands find the right music rights holders. Or if you’re a music rights holder, we can help you source brands to utilise your artists and assets.



To see more, please check out our Brand Partnerships offering, and if you’re interested in engaging new audiences or developing a new way to market your brand via strategic partnerships, drop Chris a line at chris.wilson@ingenuitylondon.com to discuss.