Cultivating an EDM Lifestyle Brand:
A Social Influence Case Study
The Challenge: Capturing a Growing EDM Market
In 2011, music and nightlife would progressively change in a way that would permanently alter the course of music for future generations. The progression of technology and social media gave rise to an explosion of underground electronic producers and DJs that undoubtedly found the ears and hearts of Millennials.
“The EDM market is a $15 to $20 billion global industry, with the major players in the global festival market achieving $4.5 billion in sales for 2012. Digital music revenues grew an impressive 9.8 percent in 2012,” said former Wall Street Banker John Langdon in a recent report. “This compares to a 17 percent increase in festival attendees at five top global festivals and an increase of 33 percent in the total number of festivals thrown yearly worldwide. The attendance at 20 top global festivals evaluated by Massive Advisors, LLC increased from 1.9 million in 2009 to over 3.4 million in 2013.”
Recognizing this trend, Brodie Creative partnered with Good Vibes Clothing, who aimed to create a lifestyle brand that mixed style with positive energy. The challenge, however, was that clothing and fashion brands are unique, and it takes active word of mouth to make a particular line of clothing popular.
To that end, Brodie Creative, Florida’s premier lifestyle branding agency, would strategically position Good Vibes Clothing brand in the epicenter of the disruptive EDM genre of music.
The Solution: ‘Look Good, Feel Good’
Based on initial research, the team at Brodie Creative found that an EDM fan’s average income is around $75,000. Thus, the average fan has enough purchasing power to buy a general admission ticket to an EDM event, sometimes priced at more than $300 each.
As experienced social marketers, the agency was aware that social influence proves the most effective way to reach Millennials and EDM was growing at an exponential rate.
“In 2005, there were approximately 38,000 total tracks released globally via traditional labels across all genres. For the six-month period ending July 2013, there were a total of 371,000 total tracks released in EDM alone,” according to the EDM trade publication Raver Rafting. While artists such as Calvin Harris went on to make more money than Jay-Z and Katey Perry in 2013, while artists such as Skrillex boasts over 20 million Facebook followers, almost as many as Lebron James.
With a strong understanding of Good Vibes Clothing’s accessible network, popular lifestyle trends, the emergence of the nightlife and party scene throughout the country, the Brodie Creative team worked with the clothing brand to establish its two key business objectives: create a brand identity and increase sales.
With a solid understanding these facts and objectives, the Brodie Creative team worked to craft a strategy that would accomplish its overall mission:
- Create and execute a viable marketing strategy and brand image around a brand’s true core values and audience by igniting the clothing company’s viral engine of growth.
- Create business opportunities in disruptive markets marked by conditions of extreme uncertainty—in this case, the rise of the EDM industry.
- Design a brand identity and marketing strategy that would truly vibe with Millennials—the brand’s primary target audience—in an era in which social influence plays an increasing role in determining the brands and products the consumers demand.
To reach these Millennials, the marketing agency turned to ego-morphing, an influence technique that plays an incredibly important role in attracting Millennials to brands. “Look Good, Feel Good,” was a slogan that would play onto the Good Vibes mantra and would work to enhance the personal image and ego of our audience. This ego-morphing verbiage was regularly accompanied with feel-good ads and images during the initial campaigns to evoke an emotional sense of desire amongst Millennials.
At the core of this strategy was to capture the energy of the EDM industry, using a grassroots marketing campaign to cultivate a strong base following and a true sense of community. To make that happen, Brodie Creative developed mutually beneficial sponsorship agreements with some of the industry’s leading DJs and music producers, who served as brand ambassadors carrying the brand’s message nationwide.
But that was only the beginning. Brodie Creative recognized the potential of the exploding nightlife scene, with live EDM shows selling out in some of the nation’s top venues. The Millennial marketing agency forged strategic alliances with numerous venues, capitalizing on the immediate sales and product feedback opportunities these partnerships offered.
At the Invasion of Spring Weekend with Red Bull, Miami Music Week and various other events and venues, Brodie Creative was able to leverage in-person sales channels. The results spoke for themselves:
- A 200 percent increase in merchandise sales, adding significantly to Good Vibes Clothing’s bottom line
- Immediate product feedback on the brand’s latest designs, shortening the build/measure/learn feedback loop and allowing the company to allocate resources to the highest-impact products
- Invaluable access to the EDM scene’s most popular artists and producers, who acted as brand ambassadors to accelerate Good Vibes Clothing’s viral marketing
Because Millennials were the target market, it was vital for the brand to create consistent, compelling and shareable digital content on a near-daily basis. To complement the grassroots marketing agency’s efforts, the team delivered on a full-scale social media campaign, optimizing digital channels that fit within the overall marketing and advertising strategy.
The Results: Impressive Growth in Social Influence
The sponsorship agreements Brodie Creative was able to form for Good Vibes Clothing meant that the brand had the right to post exclusive images and videos of artists wearing the gear on stage and on their social media channels, in front of thousands of people. Additionally, the brand had access to some of EDM’s leading photographers, enabling the team to fully utilize social networks such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube by engaging users with high-definition video and photography.
On YouTube in particular, the marketing agency decided to post new and exclusive mixes from up-and-coming EDM artists, with a “cross-pollination” approach on YouTube and Facebook. There were exclusive interviews, including live event coverage and EDM news, featured on the brand’s social media pages.
This approach of combining social currency with social networking was a stellar success, as it jump-started Good Vibes Clothing’s viral engine of growth. The brand had the following results within just a couple of months:
- An average YouTube subscription rate of 5 percent
- Approximately 30,000 hits per video on average, with some videos reaching 250,000 views
- More than 25 Facebook “likes” per day, and about 1,100 organic likes within the first six months
This viral social growth and cult-like following provided Good Vibes Clothing with the leverage it needed to approach the next tier of artists, attracting superstars such as Krewella, Downlink, and Henry Fong to spread the Good Vibes culture. With help from our network of brand ambassadors and effective cross-pollination of our social channels, Good Vibes quickly achieved exponential social growth and a social network of over 1,500,000 followers qualified sales leads.
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