Left to right: moderator Cliff Fluet, Lewis Silkin; Ross Dines, Pizza Express; Seth Jackson of PIAS; Eric Sheinkop of MusicDealers; Richard Kirstein; and Francis Rodino of Softwind Studio.
At the last Brand Discovery Music4.5 conference in London (photo), we enjoyed some insightful case study examples from the plethora of music & brand partnerships announced every week.
For every trumpeted success, there are probably more failures which we don’t hear about. In the panel discussion which closed the event, we examined the question: “How to get these deals away and where they fall over”. Expertly moderated by Cliff Fluet of Lewis Silkin, we considered how potential partners could find clarity before committing to a deal. It’s all about asking right questions of yourself and your potential partner.
Here are some questions which you might find useful:
- Does each party have clear commercial objectives for the partnership?
- Are these realistic?
- Have you explored the market properly and have sound reasons for choosing this partner?
- Have your objectives been fully disclosed, debated and agreed with the partner upfront?
- Was there an honest exploration of possible conflict issues rather than the usual love-fest?
- Was a process map (decision tree) created to visualise how the relationship would work?
- Cliché question: “What does success look like?” – Who defines KPIs?
- What are the metrics for success? Profit, Awareness, Market Share, Social Media Stats?
- Has a proper post-project review been built into the process?
- What happens if specific KPIs aren’t met? Penalties? Refunds?
- What happens if specific KPIs are exceeded? Bonus payments? Share of equity/profit?
If you properly address all these questions before entering into a deal, you are more likely to create a successful end-result.
The panel – at which midemblog was also present – also delivered some choice tips from its participants. Here are a few:
Sheinkop of MusicDealers, the company that works notably with Coca-Cola to find brands the rights music: “It’s very important to establish early on why the partnership will work. The artists have to allow themselves to be seen as a brand to be used by other brands. When you’re Burberry, the artist has to fit with those clothes. So put yourselves with a brand so brand can align (with a similar target demographic).”
Dines of Pizza Express, the restaurant chain/brand which works closely with jazz music inparticular: “It’s all about engaging with the public. For example, our talent search attracted 7500 entries; the winners get to play at the final with Jamie Cullum.”
Jackson of PIAS – who has contributed two excellent music+brands white papers to midemblog, here & here – gave advice to fellow music companies: “You have to be the custodian of your own music; a guide to what will or won’t work. Sometimes you have full freedom; but if none of our artists fit with a given brand, we won’t work with them. The right artist will be out there somewhere, but won’t necessarily be in our repertoire.”