The Gist

  • Micromarket marketing. By partnering with organizations like Secret Disco Society, which fosters positive connections among people who enjoy live music events, brands can have access to a well-defined set of individuals looking to have a shared experience, and the potential for greater impact and deeper relationships with customers.
  • Generating experience nostalgia connections. Music events can create powerful nostalgic feelings associated with a brand, which can drive experience-related purchases now and in the future. Brands should aim to create nostalgic experiences to drive customer loyalty and connections.

When I was a junior in high school, I attended my first ever live music event. If memory serves me correctly, it was a reggae rock band called Rebelution that played at an old rundown warehouse way out in Western Massachusetts. It was dark, cold and grungy. (Just the way we like it, right?) I remember going with one or two friends who also liked the band, and we showed up early to see some of the openers. As we entered the music venue and looked around, we noticed almost everyone there was our age, which was surprisingly refreshing.

However, besides a few glances and maybe a few words here or there — we really didn’t embrace the opportunity that we had to meet like-minded people who were interested in the same music we liked. Ultimately, we listened to the band then left the show without meeting a single new person.

One of the most uncomfortable things we as humans must deal with is meeting new people and connecting with them. Going to listen to music live is all about the experience, but part of that experience should be meeting new people, developing friendships or, heck, maybe even meeting your future life partner.

Related Article: Create a Positive Emotional Connection for a Better Customer Experience

Secret Disco Society: Turning a Crowd Into a Community

Hmm — how could this be achieved? Well, it’s happening now in Austin, Texas. An event group called Secret Disco Society is focusing on building a community of people who enjoy live music and events. The goal is to eliminate the social epidemic we all may have faced in one way or another — loneliness. Secret Disco Society leans in to “turning a crowd into a community,” and is focused on curating events around the capital city that bring similar and different people together in a way that inspires conversation and connection, all through the power of live music.

Is this the future of what brands should be adopting to connect best with their customers? I think it is. Here are three ways brands can leverage music as a community experience connector to drive awareness and affinity that could last a lifetime.

1. Micromarket Marketing Benefits

Brands tend to have complex marketing budgets, which mostly focus on massive scale and reach. However, moving into micromarket marketing efforts may have more benefits. Here’s why, by partnering with organizations like Secret Disco Society, brands have access into a well-defined set of individuals looking to have an experience, together. At these live music events, attendees always take pictures and share them through various social sites. So in a sense, the bang for the marketing buck has potential to be greater and offers larger impacts. The large national marketing efforts are important, yes, but if your brand is looking for ways to develop deeper relationships with customers — taking a page from this micromarket marketing approach may yield some strong connections.

Learning Opportunities

2. Appealing to All the Senses to Connect with Consumers

I’ve always said that watching an ad or commercial can only go so far, as we can only see and hear what’s happening. Live music events provide ample opportunity to hit all the five senses in a way that resonates with consumers. How does the music venue smell? What does it look like? What do we hear? What do the food and drinks taste like? How does it feel to shake a hand or hug a new friend? All of these elements work together to open up the senses. This gives brands a path to connect with consumers in a multifaceted way. When a brand is associated with this type of live music event, it becomes part of the event and registers in our subconscious — waiting to become conscious thought through other marketing channels and reputation.

3. Generating Experience Nostalgia That Can Last a Lifetime

Some of the best times I’ve had in my life were at music shows with friends. These experiences have left me with some very powerful nostalgic feelings. My piece on "Cheap Beer and Recessions" explains this phenomenon in greater detail, but let me say this: the reason brands should want to create nostalgic experiences is because it’s something we as consumers will carry with us for the rest of our lives. And yes, we as people will morph, grow and change over the years — but I’m a firm believer that nostalgic feelings associated with brands drive many experience-related purchases we make now and will make in the future. It’s why record players and vinyl have seen such a resurgence; it’s why The Rolling Stones and Elton John continue to sell out arenas around the world.

Related Article: Psychology and Science Behind Modern Customer Experience

Final Thoughts on Customer Experiences That Connect

Elton John once said, “Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” Agreed Sir Elton, but I’m going to one up you. I believe music has the power to take people to places they would have never gone otherwise. Music has the power to introduce you to a new friend or revisit with an old friend you haven’t seen in a while. It has the power to introduce you to a new brand you haven’t heard of. It has the power to connect the world and have all of us saying ... “Can you feel the love tonight?”

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