Geoff Cottrill sells shoes. As the CMO at Converse, that’s his job. So, why would a shoe manufacturer create content for musicians like this:
Guess what? Musicians sell shoes
First of all, Geoff’s an astute content marketing strategist. But, it’s no secret that musicians create fashion trends. If you can get musicians to authentically embrace your hats, jewelry, makeup, jeans, or shoes, you can sell more of them. Geoff knows this. In fact, lots of famous musicians have worn (or still wear) Converse shoes (Nirvana’s front man Kurt Cobain, teen pop idol Justin Beiber, Guns & Roses guitarist Slash, and even rap star Lil’ Wayne, just to name a few).
So, Geoff built a studio!
A traditional PR rep might start sending free Converse sneakers to bands on the brink of success with the hope that they’ll start wearing them, and start a trend amongst their fans. An advertising executive might start placing ads for its brand’s shoes in music magazines and on websites frequented by cool bands in the hopes that the artists and their followers will buy more shoes. But a great content marketing strategist (and a smart brandscaper) would build a studio. That’s right, a brand new music recording studio in Brooklyn, N.Y. And, that’s exactly what Geoff Cottrill did.
In July of last year, Converse opened a state-of-the-art recording studio in an old dry cleaning facility. Branded Rubber Tracks, the “community-based” recording studio is a place where emerging bands can record their songs at no cost. And there’s no catch.
You record your music, we’ll create some content
All artists or bands that record at Rubber Tracks have the option to have their music promoted on Converse’s website and social media channels. Just think what the exposure to Converse’s 33 million Facebook fans could mean to a budding band. But for Geoff, that wasn’t enough.
Instead of going out and buying all the gear you need to outfit a state-of-the-art recording studio, Geoff decided to partner with Guitar Center — the world’s largest retail chain of musical instruments. What does Guitar Center get out of it? Great content. (And a great brandscape.)
Converse’s Geek Out, presented by Guitar Center
Sure, the Guitar Center audience might be interested in seeing who’s recording in the Rubber Tracks studio, but they’re more interested in learning how to record better music. That’s why Geoff and his team created a content series called Geek Out. Every episode leverages Converse’s recording studio, and the staff that runs it, to showcase a new tip, trick, or tutorial designed to make your music production quality better. They’ve covered everything from recording great drum audio with only two mics to creating the perfect audio mix.
A content strategy that creates a symbiotic relationship
At the end of the day, Converse gets access to Guitar Center’s massive audience of budding musicians by creating content that Guitar Center can authentically deliver to its consumers. That’s a great content partnership… and a perfect brandscape.
You acted more like Converse? What if you created content specifically designed to be distributed by your partners? What if you actually helped someone else sell their products? What would it mean to your business and to your brand?
What if you embraced the simple idea that your NEXT customer is someone else’s CURRENT customer?
For more insight and examples of content partnerships that can create a symbiotic brand experience, read Andrew Davis’ book, “Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships.”