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How brands can connect with youths through music


A quick survey of your environment reveals that you are surrounded by tangible things purchased because someone or something told you they are of the best quality, the elite type, the best brands. Chances are that the brand told you that. Or if they didn’t initially bring you in, they are working hard to continue to convince you that you are where you ought to be – by their side – and change isn’t a bother.

Brands are the behemoths of capitalism, an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. They want to make a profit selling products to you, backed by the best emotional play via targeted messages called advertising. If it’s a shirt, why not tickle their vanity and tell them that they don’t look good enough without this shirt? A telco will push the message of hyper-connectivity and moving life of ease via the internet. Of course, they would be the ones to supply you that internet. Condom companies will say your thrusts earn her trust, and so for a better partnership, your sex life has boundaries that exist to protect you. Who owns these latex boundaries? Condom Companies. You see?

According to United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), at the beginning of 2012, the world population surpassed 7 billion with people under the age of 30 accounting for more than half of this number (50.5%). According to a survey, 89.7% of people under 30 lived in emerging and developing economies, particularly in the Middle East and Africa.

According to Bloomberg, Nigeria’s population reached 182 million in 2016, with more than half its people under 30 years of age. Brands see these numbers as a goldmine. A population with some spending power who can make the country good business for them. Young people speak a language of ease, of fast deliveries, instant connectivity, and are more likely to be open and adaptable to change or inventions. Everything is on the go.

Young people like music. Many have lives that are sound-tracked by musicians who have become stars due to a vibrant young fan base. Music is a religion to many, and an influential part of their lives. Happiness, sadness, inspiration, education, and celebrations are all linked to music. If brands are looking to get at these people, indirect marketing through the music becomes a very viable option.

But what brand can you say have truly found a way to dominate youth culture? While many back the biggest concerts via sponsorships and brand exposures, others look towards creating curated spaces and music-heavy activities for young people. Others go straight to the creators of the music, drop the cash, and get the endorsement. There’s nothing new to see here. The specifics in these interactions are subject to evolution, but the format and principles never change. Young people want turn-up and happiness. Oya, give them.

But someone might have a new way. Or perhaps have cracked a new code, as no other has done. Nike recently collaborated with youth culture publication, ‘The Native’ Magazine.  The partnership saw both companies release a ‘Nike by Native’ special edition jersey, which is steeped in elements drawn from the local culture. It sold out in 14 hours.

“We’re always looking to create cool experiences, whether it’s a small thing, or a big one,” says Seni Saraki the 23-year old Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Native. “We are trying to create them and get it across through music.”

The secret to that, he says, is by limiting the company’s interference. Native started out by curating music for a fanbase that needed extra engagement and individualist takes on quality music. The company also invested in offline engagements, via events designed with the same motive. Its headline concert, NativeLand, which held its fifth edition in December, attracted thousands, and had sponsorship from major brands.

“If you are coming into Native World, we bring you into our world. How do you fit into our world?” Saraki asks. “Sometimes people put too much emphasis on the finances. The brand feels because they give you some money, they can take over your brand, your experience and everything.

“Of course, the money is important, and a lot of things can’t happen without the money, but nothing is more important than your identity,” he says.

The success of Native is a great indicator of the powers that are carried by the trusted voices who interact with the youths. It’s like influencer culture. Only this time for real influencers who actually get to do the ‘INFLUENCING’. Where you speak a message in a language that is best communicated via shared interests. That’s what the Native has done. They were trusted also with the content marketing for the promo of Nigeria’s Nike-designed kits at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. It also sold out in minutes.

Step 1: Find Your Niche Within Your Niche.
Step 2: Grow it organically. Feed it constantly. Ensure quality.
Step 3: Organize offline, and bring your people together. Let group power be fostered.
Step 4: Monetize with sense. Keyword: Sense. Don’t Sell-Out.

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