Originally posted by The Guardian.
“Show me your top 100 music tracks and I’ll tell you where you buy your clothes, where you shop for food, which brand of beer you prefer and where you like to go on vacation.”
In my dreams. As a marketer with a music buff for a partner, having that kind of superpower would be a hoot. Just imagine casually scrolling through somebody’s MP3 player, then confidently declaring: “From your taste in music, I can tell you like Gap, street markets, Dos Equis and staycations with days at the beach.”
No two peoples’ music playlists are identical; they’re unique, like fingerprints. And the hundreds (thousands?) of music styles that are cross-pollinating at the speed of hi-tech psy-trance is a mystery to me and I suspect to many other people, too. How to distinguish between gothic metal and symphonic metal? Between country gospel and new Americana? Between Delta blues and Memphis blues? (See a huge list of other sub-genres mapped out here).
Yet the marketer in me is convinced that connections between the musical choices people make and the brands they choose must exist. I’m not talking about using music to create the mood in stores and restaurants: hip-hop for streetwear stores, classic rock in diners and string quartets in sophisticated restaurants. I’m talking about a fine-grained cross-mapping of musical tastes and brand tastes.
I’m not alone in thinking there’s got to be a deep connection between people’s choice of music and their behavior. Any half-observant person who has spent time with, for example, teens or baby boomers will have plenty of ideas on that front. But it takes a lot more than individual observations to find the sort of patterns that will strike marketing gold, so data collection is where it’s at right now for music-minded businesses. Here are a few taking different approaches to digging deep into our musical minds.