What marketers can learn from this influential genre of music.

By Amber Hudson and Sarah Liverance

Luke is out of the office, so we have a guest EIM contributor this week:  Sarah Liverance.  Those of you who know Sarah know that she’s a huge country music fan.  So we were chatting one day and she started evangelizing about the wonders of country music.  Like a fun word association game, every time she said the name of a country artist words like boots!  beer! tractors! hound dogs! bull riding!  line dancing!  popped in my brain.

But you know what?   Sarah’s really on to something here.  Regardless of whether you, or your target, like country music, as marketers you need to take notice.  It’s huge (#1 radio music genre), its fan base is growing thanks to reality TV and crossover stars and it’s reaching a broader audience (younger and more affluent).  Apart from a love for the twang, here’s why folks are fans of the country brand:

Authentic

The artists are real, the stories they sing are real, they do the right thing.  Every genre has artists that find their way into rehab. In pop music it looks like a PR play, in country it’s done for the right reasons.  Keith Urban was 2 weeks away from a giant tour but pulled away from the money in order to get himself into rehab, for the sake of his family (you might know his wife, Nicole Kidman) and himself.

Approachable

The artists are constantly touring to get up close and personal with the fans.  They get right into the crowd, shake hands and chat, spend time reading the signs fans make, and of course sign many autographs.  Did you know there are 28 country music festivals in Canada alone?!  And we have a short summer season.

Altruistic

The artists are very involved in charities and causes, big and small, global and local.  And not just one, multiple causes (check out Look to the Stars for more info).  On top of that they are very supportive of each other:  they collaborate, tour together, and encourage each other all in the name of furthering country music.

While many scoff, country music is no joke.  It’s big, it’s influential and it can teach marketers a few things:  are you doing what’s right for your brand vs. chasing the big buck?  Are you getting out there in front of your consumers, walking the store aisles, talking to them yourself?  Are you finding the right ways to give back?

Now get out there and try your own boot scootin’ boogie!