Does your brand need a Chief Music Officer?


By Florent Adam

Should brands invest more in their music strategy? Yes, definitely! Should all companies recruit a Chief Music Officer? I’m less convinced about that.

Even if most companies in the world don’t sell music, an ever-increasing number of them are investing more and more efforts into developing a tailor-made musical identity as part of their brand communication strategy.

We live in an audio-driven era and by developing their own musical ecosystem, brands manage to bring more meaning into their communication and more consistency, but also more attention and recall power to their advertising. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all companies should recruit a Chief Music Officer.

When developing music for brands, studies show that tailor-made music performs better. So, if a brand invests in a music team internally, it should create an internal music studio. From a more technical or resource point of view, this would mean building the studio, hiring professional musicians who are willing to compose or curate music exclusively for one brand communication on an everyday basis, as well as hiring sound engineers and others. 

From my experience in this field, building an effective musical strategy for a brand is not about being an excellent musician or having an excellent musical culture. Rather, brands should consider hiring an agency with both a long expertise in the field and dedicated resources.

Most importantly, any form of subjectivity must be avoided in the process of creating a musical strategy for a brand. In sonic branding, the music serves the brand, it is an applied art to the marketing and communication. Music is an emotional tool and can sometimes suffer from this natural subjectivity if it is controlled by a single person.

Therefore, in our process of building a musical strategy at Sixième Son, we always work with a listening committee of four to eight employees from the brand, accompanied by our experts and consultants, to maintain this goal of brand performance rather than purely aesthetic criteria.

I’ve shared more of my thoughts on this topic with Campaign Asia-Pacific. Read their article on the increasing power of sound and music in branding here

Photo by Sountrap on Unsplash.