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News And Views

News & Views

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  • 11 June 2019
  • David Lucas, Head of Technology

The resurgence of iPods, vinyls and cassettes, and what this means for brands

The recent launch of a new iPod range by Apple turned some heads. In an era where streaming dominates and our phones can store most of our favourite tracks, why would anyone buy an iPod?

The likely reason is that the benefits of having everything within one device can turn into negatives. Anyone looking to use music to escape from the world will fall victim to the flood of notifications most of us receive on our phones. Combined with the added temptation to go down the rabbit hole of social media and time wastage that can come with that, it's easy to see why we're looking for ways to fully escape from the connected world.

Coupled with the rebirth of vinyl and the recent increase in artists releasing their music on cassettes again, it's clear that we're looking for new ways to avoid the distractions of our phones and avoid the deluge of choice that having thousands of tracks at our fingertips can bring. An album - already perfectly curated - is the perfect respite from this.

For communicators, this trend can bring challenges. We've grown accustomed to using social media for targeted outreach and rely on many of the apps that push notifications to get our messages to the right people. Has this personalised approach gone too far? And, if people are disconnecting, how can we reach them?

The answer lies in understanding your audience and pursuing the unexpected.

Having in-depth knowledge of your audience is vital to any communications plan. But this can't be a selection of facts and data points pulled together. It’s essential to understand pain points and motivations to see where your brand can fit in - how it can help people overcome a challenge or do more of what they love. Using this to create a message that provokes an immediate reaction or enables the audience to clearly see how it could benefit their home or work lives will cut through and feel natural.

Backed by a strong insight and impactful message, the next step is a creative platform that shows up in an unexpected way, to rise above the noise many people are trying to avoid. Relying purely on typical channels can mean that your message gets lost. Apply technology in a clever way to connect to the news agenda, or champion a cause your audience is passionate about. Show up in a location that your audience wouldn't expect you to be in, or partner with another brand outside of your typical area.

Most importantly - make it easy for your audience. The resurgence of vinyl and cassettes show a desire for linear listening - we're all overwhelmed by choices and sometimes just want to go with the easiest solution. Helping audiences filter the options in front of them and take a clear route forward will help your call to action stand out.

Whether you're an iPod devotee or someone who loves the selection that Spotify brings, there's no question that we could all use some help filtering through the distractions our connected lives have created. As communicators, avoiding being a part of the digital clutter and helping audiences navigate the choices in front of them will be vital in remaining relevant as the temptation of disconnecting increases.