When mentioning large brands such as Nokia, Coca-Cola, and Heineken, most people would think of the familiar melodies used in their advertising. Many may even remember the music used by Sony Ericsson, despite it disappearing from the market. The goal of music marketing is to increase brand identity and sales and includes the use of music in TV commercials, viral videos, offline marketing, and corporation communications. Music stays in the mind longer than images do and more brands in Vietnam have utilized it in a range of ways to increase their brand identity and business results.
Music marketing for products
After great success in 70 markets around the world, Carlsberg officially introduced its Tuborg beer to Vietnam in April 2016 and it is now a popular brand loved by young Vietnamese for its distinctive association with music and great fun. The highlights of its music marketing campaigns include the Open for Fun Music Tour, the EDM Martin Garrix show, Street Shows, and Monsoon Music Festival by Tuborg.
“Music is one of the best ways for us to express brand spirit and inspire young people to explore and have fun,” a representative from Carlsberg Vietnam told VET. “Since its foundation, Tuborg has always strived to become a truly international beer that emboldens the spirit of exploration, creation, and youthful endeavor.”
The brand partnered with both local and international people to form dream teams, as both can provide expertise. To deliver the best quality in its music campaigns, it also worked with famous artists who can reflect authenticity, creativity, vibrancy and brilliant musical experiences.
The budget allocated to music marketing campaigns accounts for notable amount of the brand’s total marketing costs. Entering year three, it continues to drive awareness while building a sound foundation in brand imagery by reinforcing an image of “Young and Cool” and “International”. “I believe beer brands in Vietnam will need keep up their major investment in music marketing,” the representative said. “There will be more creative and satisfying music projects for music fans.”
A number of Vietnamese brands in the beverage industry have caught on to the trend of using music in their branding. Vietnamese advertisers have focused on core values in advertisements, for example choosing songs consistent with each product’s meaning.
Vinasoy, which owns the Fami and Vinasoy soymilk brands, is one example. “Home is where …” marked continued success in Fami’s viral marketing plan from 2015 to 2018, which transferred its message to Vietnamese families: “To think of family is to think of Fami”. Launched in 2015, music videos on the concept were implemented with constantly creative and emotional ideas that increased brand visibility among highly-engaged consumers, according to the Quang Ngai Sugar JSC-backed Vinasoy.
In 2016 and 2017, shoemaker Biti’s and electronics chain Dien may Xanh, owned by the Mobile World Investment JSC, were typical of brands successfully using music in their marketing campaigns. As customers become overloaded by excessive information and advertisements, Mr. Le Tan Thanh Thinh, Founder and CEO of Brandbeats Music Marketing, told VET that an effective means of marketing is to help the customer relax, combining the brand’s message with music. Local analysts said that many Vietnamese consumers, particularly younger ones, are impressed by the music videos and songs associated with Biti’s and Dien may Xanh. Music becomes a feature of the brand identity and also an asset that can differentiate it from its rivals.
Expanding music marketing
Partnering with foreign and local brands for years, Brandbeats Music Marketing has contributed notably to the music marketing efforts of brands like Fami. It combines music knowledge and a marketing mindset to create exceptional projects and has also provided internal branding solutions for some brands.
“Corporate communications is not just news; it can include inspiring songs,” Mr. Thinh said. Its clients are mainly in the retail and service industries, with corporate music spreading throughout a company with thousands of employees. Vinamilk, Big C and Co.opmart have been successful clients.
As competition gets tougher in the context of digital and KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders), many local and foreign enterprises have poured large sums into their branding. Vietnamese enterprises are moving to branding from inside-out (instead of external branding) and corporate music is the first step for an enterprise to transfer its vision, mission and core values from inside (employees) to outside (partners and customers), according to Mr. Thinh. Corporate music can also become music videos or ringtones, and from that the enterprise’s message is spread widely at little additional cost.
Brandbeats’ foreign clients in Vietnam account for 60 per cent of those on its books. Mr. Thinh added that local client numbers are increasing but many local enterprises aren’t fully aware of the benefits of music marketing and corporate branding.
To develop music branding, a company needs to understand its target customers in terms of music demand. A brand’s music identity needs to be like its brand identity, defining a sound that helps the brand. “It is difficult to attract customers,” he said. “Brands need to create unique music that will make customers feel excited from the first note. It needs to be so impressive the customer will tell their friends about the brand. This is the beginning step in viral marketing.”
Brandbeats plans to develop a comprehensive service in branded entertainment. This is not just about corporate music or music videos but also a solution that can be combined with entertainment and brand stories. In late June, Brandbeats teamed up with InterContinental Saigon to launch a new music project in wedding services. With the aim of successfully engaging the hotel and its customers, this is expected to bring a unique experience to couples holding their wedding at the hotel.
“We also continue to develop music retail packages, where we consult with and produce a playlist for retailers, as music can impact customer purchases at outlets,” Mr. Thinh added.