Brand marketers spend countless hours and money trying to identify the best channels, messages, and timing to acquire and engage new customers. According to Thanx, Inc , 2017, “The Ultimate Guide To Customer Loyalty in 2017,” it costs 5-7x more money for a brand to acquire a new customer than to drive an additional visit from an existing customer. So while acquiring customers is important, retaining customers is just as important and should be a consideration when evaluating acquisition efforts.

The music industry has the unique ability to offer an impactful experience for a brand’s customers and should pursue opportunities to leverage a brand’s need for marketing experiences. A Loyalty Program is one such opportunity.


The Impact of Loyalty Programs

For ages, brands have created and deployed loyalty programs (toys in Happy Meals, buy-one-get-one-free perks, come-back coupons handed over following a purchase, or credit card points). These programs act as the connective tissue that drives personalized rewards and recommendations throughout a customer’s evolving relationship with a brand.

The impact of Loyalty Programs on customer spend, choice, advocacy, and retention is high. Few, if any, other marketing initiatives could claim impact of this magnitude. With more and more programs competing for consumers’ attention, they expect personalized and shared interactions across all brand loyalty initiatives.

Of all the ways in which members interact with and evaluate Loyalty Programs, the experience matters the most, according to the Bond Loyalty Report, 2017, “The Battle for Love & Loyalty.” Experience drivers are more important than monetary drivers in achieving program satisfaction. Take away items are important, but it’s the experience that makes the greatest difference in overall satisfaction. Customers will remember their experience with a brand long after they’ve forgotten all the other methods. Music is an effective tool in driving highly engaged custom events for brands.


Citi Sound Vault

For nearly a decade, Citi customers have gained unprecedented access to the passions that drive their everyday lives through music, sports, dining, entertainment and more by utilizing Citi’s Private Pass platform.

Citi wanted to take that concept to the next level, resulting in “Citi Sound Vault,” a new live music platform to provide access to unprecedented intimate music opportunities curated exclusively for card members. Citi wanted to kick this off by putting their card members at the epicenter of the most electrifying time in music – GRAMMY Week.

Access to marquee events during GRAMMY Week is traditionally only open to industry insiders. Citi created an opportunity to extend that “insider feeling” to fans that would make a significant splash across the industry and drive large-scale customer awareness. What unfolded was Citi Sound Vault: five concerts during five nights with some of the world’s biggest artists performing at the intimate Hollywood Palladium.

Citi hand-selected four major acts – Sting, Beck, The Chainsmokers, and Metallica. Typically playing for massive audiences, these artists made the intimate Citi Sound Vault shows that much more remarkable. The venue was adorned with a gold motif, a life-sized 3D logo installation, and “black carpet” where guests created their own “VIP Entrance” photo opportunity. When the artists walked onto the stage, they saw every fan as if they were in the front row. Metallica literally walked off the stage from their GRAMMY Awards performance and unleashed into an amazing set of their greatest hits.

The program was announced through an exclusive feature with Forbes while stories inviting only Citi card members published in national publications, as well as a TODAY Show integration and out of home advertising. For the first time, Citi orchestrated a Facebook Live Q&A with Beck from the Hollywood Palladium.

This program was highly successful for Citi and set a precedent for all of their future loyalty programming.


In Summary

The music industry has a unique opportunity to position personalized interactions and exclusive experiences to brands as a part of reaching their consumers. This includes creating sought after experiences for consumers with music as a tool to drive emotion, in addition to physical takeaways. It is important to always keep in mind the lasting effect a brand is capable of leaving a consumer through well thought out and targeted loyalty programs.