In the bustling fashion marketplace, having a brand story - a lifestyle and image that people feel they’re buying into when they’re purchasing your products - is undoubtedly crucial in attracting and retaining the attention of customers and potential customers.
This strong sense of community and belonging is, in many ways, mirrored in the music industry; the ‘tribes’ - characterised by style or genre - that individuals choose to align themselves with have important implications for their sense of self and personal identity.
Given this fact, it’s fairly surprising that up until now fashion brands have tended to focus on visual and written content to support their brand-building efforts rather than looking further afield to content focussed on music.
In this arena, there are a handful of brands that are really leading the way, using music as a powerful weapon in their content marketing arsenal. Here’s our pick of the best.
Frank & Oak
Relatively new kids on the menswear block, Frank & Oak take content creation so seriously they have an entire team dedicated to researching and creating editorial, which appears in their quarterly themed magazine The Edit and on their blog.
Each edit is accompanied by a playlist, curated by an up-and-coming artist or producer, with songs that complement the theme of the editorial. Each attracts thousands of plays on SoundCloud.
Takeaway: Try giving your followers a multi-sensory experience when launching a new range or lookbook by creating an accompanying playlist in SoundCloud or on Spotify
In the mood for crooning to some love songs? Want to mend your broken heart after a breakup? Perhaps your gym session is in need of a musical boost. If any of these apply, Victoria’s Secret has a Spotify playlist for you.
Takeaway: Show off your musical curation skills by creating Spotify playlists that become part of your followers' day-to-day lives
These guys are doing some seriously cool stuff in the fashion/music collaboration space (probably owing to the fact they're both a fashion brand and a record label themselves). One of our favourites is their Autumn/Winter 2013 show, which took the form of a live gig in which the performers - all rising stars on the music scene - were decked out in the brand’s new collection.
Takeaway: Put a twist on your regular runway shows with live music
Oh, and they also have a massive following on Soundcloud to boot.
Nasty Gal - the self-proclaimed ‘online style destination for bad-ass girls’ - uses its blog to host a series of interviews with musicians and DJs who fit with the brand's image. We love how each interview is accompanied by a Spotify playlist curated by the celebrity in question, each of which attracts thousands of listens and followers.
Takeaway: Getting celebrity endorsement has always been a winning tactic - why not ask any celebrity contacts you have to create a playlist for you?
With their dusky filters, charming locations and beautiful melodies, Burberry’s acoustic sessions are part of chief creative officer Christopher Bailey’s vision to bring together fashion and music under one roof.
Takeaway: Ride the wave of publicity associated with up-and-coming music talent, giving them a platform for performing their music.
Online shoe retailer Steve Madden has produced a great set of videos featuring emerging artists. We love how each set comprises two videos: one of the artist performing a song and another in which they discuss fashion.
Takeaway: Find music acts that have a stong link with fashion to cross-promote your offering