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Listen up! Why luxury brands are harnessing the power of Spotify

Historically, many luxury brands have relied on instantly recognisable visual cues to represent their brand: a certain colour, a unique pattern or a logo can each create a connection with the consumer and bring the brand to life in their mind. Yet, as consumers move more and more of their activity into the online space, and competition for audience’s attention increases, innovative brands are exploring the other senses to build powerful associations that connect on a more emotional level.

As an example of this type of activity, we have been working with Fairline to develop and launch its own Spotify channel. Spotify has created a platform for luxury brands to craft playlists that express the personality of their products and reflect their customers’ tastes.

For Fairline, this strategy serves as a way to express its unique brand character, building an image of what life on board the F//LINE 33 yacht is like, and reflecting the important role music plays for yacht owners and their guests. Making connections through music is both a personal and emotional approach, and creates a subtle forum for exposure to Fairline’s personality and message.

We commissioned a popular German DJ, Thomas Ullrich, who has previously worked with the brand, to curate five atmospheric playlists that give Fairline the ability to communicate a unique point-of-view. Due to the ability to follow brands on Spotify, and proliferation of playlist sharing, they also allow Fairline to uncover new audiences that would typically fall outside of the brand’s advertising reach.

We have witnessed several luxury brands engage with Spotify over the past few months. As part of its McQueen Creators programme, the fashion label launched a channel that features music from its past shows. Similarly, luxury Italian label, Prada, created an official profile to help consumers fully “immerse themselves in the brand.” Each of the seven playlists on the channel was inspired by a fictional character from the brand’s spring-summer campaign.

For those with a limited budget, playlists are a no brainer. They are free, generate easy engagement and are a useful tool for differentiation – by using music to build brand sentiment, Prada and McQueen allow consumers to access and immerse themselves in the luxury brand identity without having to buy anything.

Why Spotify?

Despite the latest stay-at-home orders from the Government, which would normally drive music streaming for commutes to work and journeys, last month Spotify saw an 11% jump in mobile app installs, an 11% increase in share price, and was recently named 2020’s ‘Most Intimate Brand’ – a good indication of people’s emotional connection to the brand. It makes sense – music is personal. And Spotify, with its 100 billion data points generated each day, does a great job at creating a unique and personalised version of the platform for each user.

The first volume features five distinctive playlists including Miami, Chilled Balearics, After Sunset, The Lounge, and Lazy Afternoons.

Miles Moorhouse, Head of Marketing at Fairline Yachts, comments, “Music connects people universally and can remind us of the best days of our lives. We wanted our new Spotify channel to invoke the lifestyle of our stunning dayboat and share the unique personality of the F//LINE 33 through our carefully curated playlists. We hope they are enjoyed as the backdrop to many adventures, both on and off the water.”

Right now, it’s still a fairly innovative space. For the 124 million paid subscribers to its ad-free version as of the end of last year, Spotify had 153 million users of its ad-supported tier, up 32% from a year earlier.

This fast-growing audience gives marketers a real chance at reaching both a mass listener base, as well as potentially smaller groups based on more granular characteristics and interests, ideal for luxury brands looking to engage with HNWI.

We use our experience and the latest research to identify strategies that meet the right individuals on their terms, and on the platforms and channels they actually use - Spotify is one of them.