There is a right way to conduct research to grow your market share and a wrong way. Unless you are asking the right questions, your research will fail.
You must go beyond theory and identify the emotional drivers of your target audience and use tough-minded strategies and positioning to steal market share from the competition.
Stealing Share has developed a unique process unlike any other brand company in the world that is designed with a single purpose, to steal market share.
(This is part two in a three part series on DRM-based music service, Spotify.
To read the Part I of this series, click here.)
In part two of our Branding Triptych on Spotify, we will be taking a close look at their brand. In particular, we’ll be analyzing what Spotify is doing well, questioning their inadequacies, and considering what it will take to make Spotify a household name. In our estimation, Spotify (with the right branding) could become the second best streaming music site on the web and maybe one day, the first.
What exactly is Spotify’s Brand?
Whenever analyzing a brand, we must first consider “who” the customer believes they are when using that specific product. It’s also wise to contemplate how we perceive that same customer wishes to be perceived by others when using that aforementioned product. That said, let’s apply this specific branding scenario to Spotify.
As onlookers, we believe people who use Spotify are serious about music — and they believe themselves to be serious music listeners. Adding to this, these users are looking for a better alternative to iTunes and I speculate, they believe they have found that alternative with Spotify.
Yet, why would these users think that? Why would Spotify possibly be a better music answer than iTunes? First, using Spotify as a Premium user is ultimately cheaper, $10 a month. This is very cheap for the serious music listener. With this small monthly investment, the music aficionado has immediate access to nearly any song they wish (minus the Beatles and a handful of others) at a high bit rate, 320 kbps, in fact. This, as the Spotify website details is, “some high fidelity.” See, Spotify recognizes that the music lover (or, the music “snob”) cares about that high fidelity and it is a worthy selling point. Moreover, Spotify boasts exclusive content like early album releases to Premium members. Which again, to the music purist, the full album listener, relishes in.
In a nutshell, Spotify’s brand is about convenience and premium music for the serious music listener.
What then, is Spotify doing well?
Spotify seems to understand that they are the web and app based option for music enthusiasts. It’s clear that this message is resonating with users too (Spotify now reports being assessed at one billion dollars).
When it was released in North America, Spotify did something interesting, they made their content available only to invited users. By doing this, Spotify created instant intrigue amongst potential users as potential users desired to be a part of the Spotify network. This was a classic case of supply and demand, thus by limiting supply, the initial demand for Spotify seemed immense.
Additionally, Spotify has created a simple to navigate interface on the web and also as a downloadable app for phones and tablets. On each, users can easily import their pre purchased musical MP3 catalog. Users can also search through an overabundance of albums and songs, and save selected songs and albums as playlists which can be accessed at anytime.
For those that care about simplicity, these attributes are highly favorable.
What is Spotify doing poorly?
It’s hard to pick apart a company that seems to be doing so much so well. But, we do believe Spotify is making a few blatant mistakes. Incidentally, we believe that there is room for Spotify to grow and become more of a household name in the way iTunes is.
We believe there is something to be said for owning music. While there are hordes of torrent sites and illegal music options, people at the end of the day, inherently want to do the right thing and not “steal” music. Yet, with Spotify, there is the sense that you are only “renting” your music and that when all is said and done (say, if you were to cancel you membership) you have to give it all back.
This, is a problem and is why similar but less successful sites like Rhapsody, Napster and eMusic have never really competed with iTunes.
Why is that?
People want to own their personal brand, not rent it. Music is, for many, a major facet in self identification — as to physically or digitally own the music that makes people “who they are” is indeed a significant feature. It’s why iTunes is such a powerhouse in the music industry and essentially, the leader of the category. iTunes allows users to purchase their music, which is a brilliant thing. Users are provided with an elegant interface where their owned music will remain with them forever.
What matters is owning music and Spotify is missing this mark. They have miscalculated our need to possess our brand, to catalog our music and keep it for the entirety of our lives if we so wish.
As much as having a Spotify’s Premium membership is significant, and being able to make playlists and stream music whenever and wherever; ultimately the music is not the users. It is Spotify’s and that is not a positive thing for the brand.
Read part III by clicking here
Visit Spotify by clicking here