The brand experience at a festival
Past studies have shown that Australian millennials and Gen Z are more connected to brands.
The relationship is certainly a tempestuous one.
Music fans identify themselves through their favourite brands, let them play an “essential” role in their lives, and increasingly believe they can determine a brand’s success or failure.
But there’s also a butt-hurt over a perception that advertisers tend to depict them in stereotypes.
A new report Love Song gets a fix on how music plays in the lives of fans, their relationship to society, how they’re motivated to make positive changes, and their belief that the influence they have with brands will help them initiate this revolution.
The study – a team-up between Secret Sounds Connect and independent research agency Pollinate – surveyed 9,866 people aged 16 and over across Australia.
Secret Sounds Connect business director Andy Walsh explains to TMN, “Our study was designed to understand behaviour, as well as technology usage and consumption.
“Together this allows us to create the right experiences that cater for consumer growth but also offer brands a powerful to build deep relationships.”
The survey split was 59% female and 41% male.
Most (45%) were in the 18—24 demo, with 19% aged 25—29, and 11% from the 30—34 group.
Secret Sounds Connect, set up ten years ago, builds campaigns for brands wanting to engage with the youth market.
It is part of the Secret Sounds Group which incorporates the Dew Process record label, Village Sounds agency, the Falls, Splendour in the Grass, Download, Secret Sounds Touring and Secret Service Artist Management.
Love Song was launched at a gala event in Sydney to primarily Secret Sounds sponsors, with reps from broader brands, press and music industry in attendance.
There were presentations by Walsh, Connect managing director Kristy Rosser and Andrew Knox from Pollinate, as well as a flaming DJ set from Touch Sensitive.
Play that funky music
To head to the link between music consumption and brand expectation, Love Song returns the picture that the average music lover engages with music for five hours a day.
67% actively seek new music and love sharing it with others.
It also confirms that younger age groups are more intense about music consumption.
Walsh expands, “64% of Gen Z seek information bands and gigs ‘all the time’, with 58% following their fave artists on social media ‘all the time’.
“Across ages, live music attendance was very similar, around 30% attending gigs at least once a month.
“Gen Z stream the most music, an average of 193 minutes a day.”
According to the report, music lovers are influential across a range of categories, particularly music, travel and food.
Through Instagram, the average music lover has a reach of around 1,200 people.
They see themselves as a force for positive change: 92% feel that young people need to engage with global issues for things to improve.
This explains their relationship with brands.
Love Song declares: “The dynamics of change have changed.
“Brands are influential today in a way that was unimaginable half a century ago.
“They are not only positioned to be positive socio-cultural actors, consumer expectation demands it.
“As traditional power structures erode, brands need to shift their agendas towards empowering high-reach social actors like the ones surveyed, empowering them to act on the existential threats lapping at our ankles.
“Artists and their fans wield enormous power of influence; and now is the time for braver brands to contribute, sparking action towards social change and progress.
“The stage is set. Music lovers have the same spirit they did then, creating space for brands to step up and ignite the tinder. The time is now.”
A keynote or two
One keynote: the more socially active and involved in pop culture a brand is, the more it will interact with young consumers.
Walsh points out, “Brands need to truly understand consumers, what inspires them, what they talk about and how they engage.
“This research is a tool to help understand this at a deep level and ensure that we are always being additive to the music experience.
“Our festival sponsors spend a lot of time with our team doing this, looking at the right fit and how it builds on the festival.”
Because of Gen Z’s constant experimentation with new apps and app features, “right now Snapchat and Twitch are buzzing and Instagram stories are very powerful across 16 – 35-year-olds.”
Love Song’s research with 1,000 attendees at Byron Bay’s Splendour in the Grass – its total audience this year was 42,500 – provides further insight to music lovers and brand experience.
69% admit brand activations have a huge impact on driving positive attitudes towards brands.
84% think that their festival brand experience leads them to “more likely” or “likely” purchase or use the brand.
78% are likely to share their brand experience with friends