Buying and Selling Culture Through Music
Music is arguably the single greatest influence on human culture. When people buy music, they are buying much more than just a recording of instruments, they are buying into culture. Music influences the way people dress, how they talk, how they behave, whom they associate with, the activities they engage in, and even how they speak! Taking this into consideration, it’s important for up-and-coming bands to realize that they must create and market an all-inclusive package rather than just write and record songs.
The successful bands are the bands setting the musical trends, fashion trends, and lifestyle trends. Think about these questions for a minute: Why do clothing companies endorse bands? Why do soft drink and energy drink companies endorse bands? Why do companies that have absolutely nothing to do with music spend millions of dollars endorsing musicians? One of the best examples of this is ProActive’s huge celebrity endorsement list including Jessica Simpson and Vanessa Williams. ProActive is a line of skin care products. Did you catch that? Skin Care Products! They pay Jessica and Vanessa an undisclosed (assumably quite large,) sum of money to appear in their advertisements and endorse their products. They testify on their behalf that ProActive products really do work and that they use them as well. Is it any surprise that ProActive is the number #1 selling Acne treatment in America?
People who listen to Jessica Simpson’s and Vanessa Williams’ music will also listen to almost anything else they have to say. They are both tremendously successful in the music business and have influenced, inspired, and entertained millions of people. If they tell people that they use a certain product, their fans are likely to buy it as well. Fans will buy just about anything that is associated with the musicians they love, especially if it might get them closer to being just like their idols in any way possible. When people buy music, they are really buying culture and lifestyle. They listen to their music of choice, which in turn influences their customs, values, fashion, activities, and much more.
It’s your job as an aspiring musician to deliver more than just music. Music is simply the first door that opens on the path to what people are really looking for on a subconscious level. What kind of lifestyle does your band portray? What kind of clothes do you wear? What kinds of activities do you engage in? What is your band’s culture like? People gravitate towards others who share common lifestyles, culture, and values. Point being, your band will attract fans that share more in common with you than just your taste in music. Keep that in mind as you continue your journey towards the top, and best of luck!