The power dynamic between brands and people looks nothing like it did twenty years ago—or even two years ago. Increases in personalization and consumer control make the mass marketing of the past (designed to appeal to the “majority”) feel impersonal and irrelevant. In the me-conomy, surviving thriving depends on connecting with people on a personal level, creating products and experiences that are tailored to the individual, and showing people that you understand them.
The Challenge is Real
One of the challenges facing brands is scaling personalization in a way that reaches large audiences while still providing an authentic connection at the individual level. Finding the balance between “me” and “we” requires understanding the identity signals that define who people are and how those signals influence relationships with other individuals and groups.
The Power of Cultural Connections
One of the most powerful ways to connect with people is through culture. While the definition of culture can change in different contexts, in general, it is composed of the beliefs, norms, behaviors, customs, and values accepted by a group of people. Culture helps us delineate both who we are as individuals and how we align ourselves with other people. By connecting with people through culture, brands can build relationships on an individual level while creating a scalable strategy.
Within any culture, there are myriad subcultures and groups with more narrowly defined norms and values. With more cultural nuance—and diversity—than ever before, people expect to be seen, heard, and reflected. Most marketers intellectually understand the importance of diversity and inclusivity, and the majority believe that they are reaching multicultural and inclusive segments effectively, but only 16% of marketers infuse culture into their multicultural communications across all segments. Diversity, which is inextricably linked with culture, needs to be deliberately infused at all levels of a brand.
Spotlight: Rocket Mortgage
Rocket Mortgage launched Música Rocket in 2020 with the goal of increasing brand awareness and building lasting relationships with Hispanic audiences through music. The brand understood that the Hispanic community is not a monolith and worked with MAX to find three artists (La Energía Norteña, Kany García, and Gaby Moreno) with diverse, culturally differentiated fan bases, but who all share the values of a strong family and home life.
The Música Rocket campaign combines story-driven content, exploring culture and traditions, and immersive experiences, giving fans the chance to interact with their favorite artists. Each artist shared authentic, meaningful stories, highlighting how music isn’t just something that’s a part of their home: it is their home. The campaign culminated in a series of livestream shows hosted by the artists from their homes.
Música Rocket shows the interconnectedness between music and home, culture and tradition, family and stability. Through music, Rocket Mortgage establishes a cultural connection with the Hispanic community and positions the brand as a way to achieve financial stability and strengthen family ties.
Music: Uniquely Personal and Scalable
While personalization is key to thriving in the me-conomy, brands need a way to scale personalization. Music has a unique ability to emphasize what makes us unique and what unifies us.
Through music, brands can simultaneously create a sense of community and elicit a personal connection with people. By helping an artist share their music, a brand becomes a part of the artist’s community, forms meaningful connections with fans, and fosters positive perceptions of the brand [Source: MRC Data].
MAX Insights: We know that music helps us define who we are as individuals, but it also helps to connect us with other people - both within and across cultures. In a world of segmentation, where we often define ourselves by our differences, music offers a chance for shared experiences: a means of rising above divisions and connecting in an extraordinarily personal way. Music connects us with our family, with our friends, and with our culture.