It happens to many people. You are walking through a store or dining out with your family. You hear a song you have never heard before, and something about it strikes you. Frantically you begin digging out your phone to Shazam the track or asking an employee what is playing. It takes you out of a normal day and gives a memorable experience. Times like this are priceless for brands that seek to connect with their customers on a meaningful level.
Music discovery can be a powerful tool for brands. Nothing is cooler than being the spot where a customer heard their new favorite song. An increasing number of brands want to invoke these moments and imbue a sense of the cool and hip. Many brands use a small percentage of unknown and exciting tracks. Some brands, including a well-known telecommunications corporation and popular Mexican grill, focus on it.
Though you can stump even the most avid music fan with older hidden gems, the greatest demand is for new music. As Music Designers, we scour blogs and review sites constantly for new releases. We are also approached daily by labels, both major and independent, to include their releases in programming. There are metrics kept by companies like Shazam and Hype Machine that successfully measure the impact new music is having on listeners. But to stay at the forefront, there is some subjectivity that comes into play. A Music Designer frequently goes with their gut feeling on tracks. Spending years studying trends and deeply considering track relevance helps to develop a sense for these things.
There is a line to walk. Of course customers love to hear their favorite songs in a business. Too many unknown tracks can be off putting for a casual music fan. One typically wants to avoid songs that could be considered weird or inaccessible. Cutting edge styles often flirt with unusual elements to push boundaries. However, with good communication between brand and Music Designer a perfectly balanced playlist can be developed.
– Submitted by Bo White, Music Design