Music and brand marketing – my ‘relevant unexpected’

I studied music at University because it was my favourite subject at school.  When you tell people that, they tend to think you’re going to be quite ‘fluffy’. In reality, studying music required as much left brain thinking as right brain creativity and the best musicians I’ve met – and marketers for that matter – are definitely not fluffy.

For me, brand marketing is just the same as studying music.  It requires the perfect blend of analysis and creativity and I genuinely believe that my musical training has helped me succeed.

After a number of years working in marketing I went to back to business school to study it.  The most memorable lecture – on writing copy for direct marketing campaigns – was about creating the ‘relevant unexpected’.  It’s a phrase that’s stuck with me. Telling an unexpected story or using unexpected creative is a real art, but it has to be relevant to the problem your customers are facing.

Building a value proposition works on the same principles.  It’s as much about analysis as it is about creativity because a clear understanding of what you’re good at, how that’s different and why it’s valuable to customers, is the backbone of a value proposition that will actually work for your brand.

A creative, unexpected value proposition might help you stand out.  But your employees won’t be able to connect the dots of what they do every day to that proposition, if it’s not relevant to what your clients actually ask of them.

A music degree has been my ‘relevant unexpected’ in becoming a brand marketing consultant.

What’s yours?