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    Marketing with a higher purpose

    Not so long ago, brands wanted nothing but the big bands – to promote their (often big) brands. Today however, global companies such as Diesel, Mountain Dew (Pepsi) and Converse have adopted the ‘exploration strategy’, to reach the crowd and build their own fanbases.

    Many things have changed within the music industry during the last fifteen years or so. The business is growing increasingly diverse as music fans enjoy a wide range of platforms to consume music. In the 80s and 90s most brands strictly wanted the big bands to promote their brands, because only they would generate the desired customer attention and raise sales (brand managers thought). Now however, brands have started to adopt what we at Heartbeats refer to as the ‘exploration strategy‘. Instead of spending loads of money on our time’s counterparts to Michael Jackson, Prince or Madonna, brands choose to promote new and up-coming talents, the superstars of tomorrow.


    An early adopter of this strategy is fashion brand Diesel, with Diesel:U:Music (D:U:M), launched 10 years ago, as a yearly unsigned music talent award and a worldwide support network with new artists, labels, radio stations, journalists and producers across the world. Recently D:U:M partnered with Sonicbids, a music gig discovery and booking website, to launch Diesel’s Stupid for Music World Cup in celebration of D:U:M’s 10th anniversary. In World Cup style, indie bands battle for a chance to win not only prizes from Diesel, but a professional PR campaign, music video production and recording session as well.

    Another brand that has adopted the ‘exploration strategy’ is Mountain Dew (Pepsi) with record label Green Label Sound, where the brand gives away free downloads and promotes new artists and bands - giving their audience something more than just a soft drink.


    Yet, another example of a brand exploring undiscovered artists and musicians is Converse with its Get Out Of The Garage contest, as well as its global creative project ‘You’re It’, launched earlier this year.

    New technology has definitely opened the door for these kind of marketing strategies. However, it’s not enough to only be present at places where the audience is, or own a platform. Rather, marketing needs a higher purpose. A number of brands have understood this, and they are now building the fanbases of tomorrow, yet there are many that still have a long way to go… The ‘exploration strategy’ is one proven path to take.

    Written by: Sara Zaric


    How to turn a customer into a fan

    customer-vs-fanToday marketers speak of turning customers into fans of brands as the thing to do, to build loyalty and reach communication goals. But nobody has really explained why it’s more beneficial for a brand to have fans, rather than customers, or how turning a customer into a fan is done in practice. Sara Zaric at Heartbeats International gives it a shot…

    Today, a customer may be anyone from a purchaser to a speculator of a product or service. In fact, the word customer is also used to describe a ‘viewer’ of a product or service, with no intention to buy or speculate at all. A fan, on the other hand, is most often referred to as a person with a sincerely strong interest, devotion and enthusiasm for a certain person or object. The difference between the two, in itself, gives us a clue to the preferable choice, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want people to be enthusiastic over ones products or services? I know I would! However, I’ll try to dig a little bit deeper into the benefits of having fans, rather than customers, and I’ll also let you know how you can turn customers into fans of your brand.

    In today’s market space (yes, I call it a space, since it’s not a literal place anymore), customers need to be lured to buy a certain product or service, while fans in contrast, come on their own. Why? Because they feel a huge enthusiasm and liking for the object of their interest. Simply put, fans are emotionally attached. So, while customers (only) give their money, fans give their whole hearts, and they show this through their engagement; by promoting and spreading the word about the object of their liking and affection, in real life and on social media platforms.

    Further, customers frequently seek out the lowest prices, and they have no trouble with altering supplier if they find a product or service cheaper than the one your brand offers (sometimes even setting aside quality). But this would never happen if you had fans. Why? Well, fans are not interested in things based on prices. Fans seek experiences, (almost) no matter what the cost. Thus, customers easily leave, while fans stay loyal. So having fans rather than customers will certainly make your brand more successful.

    But, what can you do to turn your customers into fans of your brand? First of all, fans can’t be bought. Their affection needs to be earned. Simply put, you have to win your fans, just as artists and other performers win theirs. And to do that, you have to connect emotionally with your customers, making them feel for your brand. How is this done, you might ask? My answer is, by offering your customers something of value, something authentic and real that communicates your brand. Music, for example…

    Ranked as the media most people would least like to live without, music creates emotions, experiences, engagement, and it makes it possible for your brand to acquire an exclusive position in the mind of your customers. So what are you waiting for? Perhaps it’s time to turn up the sound of your brand?