Building a Successful Brand Partnership: 4 Ways to Create Alignment


Music and the artistry that it involves is powerful—and today, more than ever before, brands have been using music as they seek to create an emotional connection with their targeted consumer base.   In order to appeal to individual demographics, brands are seeking to formulate experiences that inspire, promote passion and emotion, and deliver authenticity. 

However, in order for a partnership between a brand and a musician, artist, or even a festival or concert event to truly work, it must be mutually beneficial.  There must be open lines of communication and synergy between what the brand as well as the artist is really looking for in a potential collaboration. For instance, is the brand trying to get new or enhanced exposure with an emerging audience group or demographic?  Or are they trying to increase sales overall? And for the artist, what are they after? Increased recognition? Product promotion? Ticket sales?

There really are a lot of moving pieces.  Therefore, consider these potential ways of creating alignment and realizing a successful partnership between brands and musicians, artists, or events.

Get the Most Out of Your Brand Partnership

  1. As a brand, think about the artist or event that appeals to you first.  Do this prior to coming up with “your idea.” Your brand must, ultimately, feel like there is an authentic connection with your target, and in turn, the artist or event must support and believe in your brand’s values. It’s a two-way street, and you can’t force this.  There must be a common goal—otherwise your targeted audience isn’t going to respond because the “partnership” will feel contrived to them. 
  2. The partnership shouldn’t be a “one off” experience, it should resonate like an echo long after the initial activation. What this means to a brand is that you must engage in a bit of due diligence and look at artists or events that have staying power and reputation. It’s not going to benefit your brand if you try to build a partnership with a one-hit wonder or a fly-by-night festival.  You want to think Coachella as opposed to the Fyre Festival (we know, that’s terrifying to us, too!).
  3. Ensure your brand is tapping into the creativity of the artist or the targeted event. It’s not the best idea for your brand to try to drive the entire partnership.   Focus on collaboration and the free flowing of ideas as it is here where you will likely be able to differentiate your content and make something truly special and exclusive—an end product that is informed and celebrated.
  4. Build the relationship by generating trust and respect—even if you are the one holding the checkbook, realize that you do not call all of the shots. If you are respectful of your artist or event partner, it’s likely that the same will be given to you.  The most effective brand partnerships are usually between parties who are smart, easy to work with, and efficient.

At Rogers & Cowan we are passionate about creating alignment and harmony between leading-edge brands and the best in music artistry and experiences.  In fact, we have been key in creating partnerships and activations between brands and names like Heineken and Coachella and Mastercard and The Grammy Awards.  For more information about our services, contact our team for a personalized consultation today.