By Andrew Davis published November 27, 2012

Content Marketing Strategy at the Intersection of Two Brands

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.

What if…

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?

Ask yourself…

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.”

Author: Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis’ 20-year career has taken him from local television to "The Today Show". He's worked for The Muppets in New York and marketed for tiny start-ups as well as Fortune 500 brands. In 2001, Andrew Davis co-founded Tippingpoint Labs, where he changed the way publishers think and how brands market their products. For more than a decade, as Tippingpoint’s chief strategy officer, Andrew rallied his team to change the way content creators think, authentic talent is nurtured, and companies market their products. Today, he’s traveling the globe sharing his insight, experience, stories, and optimistic ideals through his wildly fascinating speaking engagements, guest lectures and workshops. His most recent book, "Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships" hit shelves in September, 2012. Andrew is also an instructor for the Content Marketing Institute Online Training and Certification program. Follow Andrew on Twitter @TPLDrew.

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  • http://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/blog Mandy Kilinskis

    Great post, Andrew! Converse is definitely a company that’s totally nailing content marketing, social media, co-branding…you name it. Their ongoing 3 musicians, 1 song initiative is awesome. Getting together three seemingly-unrelated musicians, recording a song, and giving it away? That’s some of the best content marketing ever.

    And it’s definitely working. I keep buying their shoes.

    • http://morekeynote.com/ tpldrew

      Mandy,

      Thanks so much for reading the post and leaving a comment. So glad you like 3 Musicians 1 Song. Another cool thing I wrote about in my book that you might like (especially if you like the Converse stuff) is the AV Club’s AV Undercover. Bascially, they invite bands in every week to sing a cover from the 80s. It’s awesome. Check it out when you have a chance. BTW, it’s underwritten by Starbucks!
      http://www.avclub.com/articles/screaming-females-cover-sheryl-crow,73983/ That’s a fun one!

      (Now go buy a Frappacino… :)

      =- Andrew