Managers should be empathic like musicians.

Understand the correlation of being a good musician and a good manager. And what it needs to engage with an audience.

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who works for a leading brand. He showed me their new advertising campaign and we instantly knew: it was bad. Nevertheless, the campaign was in line with all given criteria and in market research the campaign was the clear test winner. Still, it was garbage. How does this happen? How does this happen?

Brand management and market research have a lot in common with making music.

There is technique (precise tones, intonation, rhythm, …) and there is virtuosity (the „feeling“ for the piece of music, for the instrument and the vibrations of the interpretation and empathy for the audience).

It is basically like the old picture of right and left brain hemisphere. Only when the two come together, something really beautiful is created, something that resonates in us.

In brand management, many managers and market researchers do not behave like musicians, but like technicians. They do not “play” the brand with empathy. Not like a musician who inspires people – but like a fearful engineer, who pays particular attention to the figures in the construction plans. Technique: grade perfect, virtuosity: failed, in total: desasterous. Managers should be empathic like musicians.

Useful links for better understanding.

Is research guilty? Definitely not!

If a fearful numbercruncher gives the order the result will help a fearful numbercruncher. What should we change? Nothing apart from the person in charge. In order to inspire people, you need “brand-musicians” who know both technique and virtuosity, and most of all, have the ability to combine one with the other.

Well, he’s going to have a hard time convincing the management to stop the campaign. Maybe he needs a good piece of music – hopefully not afterwards.

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