“If Steve Jobs made macaroni, people would buy it.”
Actually that man was rapper, producer and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams, who surprised the agency Elite with his insights on branding. Speaking on a panel with Vevo, Digitas, Miller-Coors, Universal Music and moderated by Jack Meyers at the Cannes Lions Festival, Williams shared his philosophy. He explained how connecting brand experiences to our senses, visually and auditorily, brands can create passionate responses and attachments to their products. Recording artists, (good ones anyway), set out to evoke emotional connections with their audiences and when they are successful, brands can leverage the passion the artists create to extend the passion to a brand or product. When brands, record companies or wannabe be rock stars trying to sell product don’t fully focus on providing people with the emotional connection that they crave, they fail. As brands learn to interact with audiences in an authentic and engaging way, the consumer appetite for feeling something really special grows.
Laura Lang of Digitas estimated that in a short time, half of all music revenue will come from brands. The brand that Pharrell cited as the best at making the connection between brands and music is Apple and it’s no mistake that people feel passionately about Apple’s products. Williams pointed out that when the iPhone was about to be released, he was dubious. . .and so was I: so Apple computer thought they would get into phones?! Who did they think they were, Nokia? But Steve Jobs knew what Apple fans wanted with complete certainty, and if he decides to get into the pasta business, Pharrell and I are going to be first in line at the Apple Store to buy his macaroni.