When we evaluate the reach that a celebrity artist has, it’s easy to be dazzled by the sheer number of fans in their audience. However, as we discussed earlier in this series, these celebrity artists have a broad appeal, but only a fraction of their fanbase may actually fit a brand’s target market profile. Essentially, when a brand engages a celebrity artist with 10,000,000 fans, but only 500,000 of those fans fit the profile of the targeted audience, the brand does reach their target market, but also pays a premium for their message to reach 9,500,000 people who do not match the brand’s target audience. Conversely, breakthrough artists often appeal to a more like-minded audience; when a brand partners with an artist whose fanbase is in line with their target audience, the brand can reduce the number of dollars spent reaching the non-target audience.
Value Added Impact
One of the issues that we touched on in our last article is the importance of regional and cultural relevance. When a message reaches a target audience, but is generic or (even worse) culturally insensitive, its impact wanes and can even become negative. When a brand is cognizant of regional and cultural attributes of an audience, they can craft a message that is more relevant and impactful.
Regionally and culturally relevant music gives the brand engaging content that the audience will connect with, and the breakthrough artist that’s creating the music becomes the 9x more influential ambassador to deliver the brand's message — content and delivery that increase a campaign’s impact. The cost of the campaign itself may not change, but selecting an artist with regional and cultural relevance will increase the ROI for a brand in the form of higher engagement and conversion rates. Additionally, both the brand and the artist maintain authenticity when both take care to respect regional and cultural nuances. Maintaining authenticity is critical for both a brand and an artist, and value is added for both when a brand is able to deliver a message that is both impactful and relevant.
Value Added Exchange
Simply analyzing the targeted reach a breakthrough artist offers, the cost associated in partnering with the artist, and how a brand can benefit from the artist’s existing fanbase doesn’t reveal the full value of a partnership between a brand and a breakthrough artist. When a brand partners with a breakthrough artist, there is an added value beyond the monetary exchange for both the brand and the artist — new fans that are reached because of the brand’s involvement.
As an example, let’s say a brand’s target market is women, aged 25-35, who enjoy DIY home renovations , and they find an artist whose fanbase and fan appeal meet these profile attributes. In addition to delivering the brand’s message to the artist’s existing fanbase, the brand helps the artist introduce their music to new audiences. The breakthrough artist benefits from the added value of new fans reached through the brand’s campaign, and the brand benefits from the groundswell of love fans have for this new artist they discovered because of the brand's partnership with the artist. Brand favorability increases, purchase intent increases, the artist’s fanbase increases, and the return on investment for the brand (which was already higher with a breakthrough artist over a celebrity artist) has increased further. This is the value exchange that makes partnerships with breakthrough artists so attractive to brands.
Music Audience Exchange (MAX) was founded in 2014 with a mission to help champion incredible music and the artists who make it through strategic, data-driven partnerships with brands. MAX brings brands into the music promotional space in a way that puts engaging content into the world through a value-exchange model that drives the brand's objectives, and elevates breakthrough bands along the way.