Updated: Oct 16
Music is more than just a form of entertainment. It's a powerful tool that can influence our emotions, behaviors, and beliefs. Music can also help organizations create deeper engagement with their values, mission, and vision. In this article, we'll explain how music can do that, and give you some examples of how organizations have used music to enhance their culture and performance.
Music and Values
Values are the core principles that guide our actions and decisions. They reflect what we stand for, what we care about, and what we aspire to achieve. Values are essential for organizations because they shape the identity, purpose, and direction of the organization. They also help attract and retain talent, customers, and partners who share the same values.
But how do you communicate your values effectively? How do you make sure that your employees, customers, and partners understand and embrace your values? How do you create a culture that lives and breathes your values?
One way to do that is through music.
Music is a universal language that can convey messages and emotions that words alone cannot. Music can also create a sense of belonging, identity, and community among people who listen to it. Music can inspire people to act in accordance with their values, or challenge them to question their values.
Music can also reinforce your values by creating associations between your values and certain songs or genres of music. For example, if your value is innovation, you might choose songs that are creative, original, and cutting-edge. If your value is teamwork, you might choose songs that are collaborative, harmonious, and uplifting.
By playing music that reflects your values in your workplace or in your marketing campaigns, you can create a musical identity for your organization that resonates with your audience. You can also use music to celebrate your achievements, recognize your employees, or motivate your team.
Music and History
Music has been used by civilizations throughout history to preserve cultural norms and knowledge. Music has been a way of passing down stories, traditions, values, and wisdom from generation to generation. Music has also been a way of expressing identity, resistance, solidarity, and protest. Here are a few examples:
Ancient Greeks used music to teach philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, and ethics.
Native Americans used music to transmit oral history, mythology, cosmology, and spirituality.
African Americans used music to cope with slavery, segregation, and discrimination.
Chinese used music to promote social harmony, moral education, and political loyalty.
Indians used music to convey religious teachings, ethical codes, and aesthetic principles.
Music has also been used by organizations to influence social change. Here's some examples:
The civil rights movement used songs like "We Shall Overcome" and "A Change Is Gonna Come" to inspire hope and courage.
The environmental movement used songs like "Big Yellow Taxi" and "Earth Song" to raise awareness and action.
The feminist movement used songs like "Respect" and "I Will Survive" to empower women and challenge stereotypes.
Organizations who use music to articulate their values position themselves to create a legacy that lasts beyond their existence. Music can help them share their vision with the world, and inspire others to follow their footsteps.
Real Life Examples in Organizations
Here are some examples of how organizations have used music to create deeper engagement with their values:
Spotify is a music streaming service that values diversity,
inclusion, creativity, and innovation. Spotify uses music to showcase its culture and values in various ways.
Spotify creates playlists that reflect its values, such as "Equal," "Black History Is Now," "Women of Tomorrow," and "Pride Classics."
Spotify hosts events that celebrate its values, such as "Sound Up," a program that supports underrepresented podcasters; "Amplify," a series that highlights social issues through music; and "Secret Genius," an initiative that honors songwriters and producers.
Spotify empowers its employees to express their values through music by allowing them to create their own playlists, podcasts, or radio shows on the platform.
Southwest Airlines: Southwest Airlines is an airline company that values fun,love, care, and service. Southwest Airlines uses music to enhance its customer experience and employee engagement in various ways.
Southwest Airlines plays upbeat music on its flights to create a positive atmosphere for its passengers and crew members.
Southwest Airlines encourages its employees to sing or rap during announcements or boarding procedures to entertain its customers and showcase their personalities.
Southwest Airlines sponsors music festivals and concerts that align with its values, such as "Live at 35," a series of live performances on board; "Destination: Red Rocks," a concert at the iconic venue in Colorado; and "Lollapalooza," one of the largest music festivals in the world.
Zappos is an online retailer that values happiness,customer service, and company culture. Zappos uses music to create a fun and friendly work environment and customer interaction in various ways.
Zappos plays music in its offices and warehouses to boost the mood and energy of its employees and visitors.
Zappos hosts musical events for its employees and customers, such as "Zappos Unboxed," a pop-up shop with live music and DJs; "Zappos Rideshop Series," a skateboarding and music festival; and "Zappos Holiday Party," a themed celebration with live bands and karaoke.
Zappos supports musical causes that align with its values, such as "Life is Beautiful," a music and arts festival that promotes social change; "School of Rock," a program that teaches kids music and life skills; and "VH1 Save the Music Foundation," a nonprofit that restores music education in public schools.
Music is a powerful way to communicate your organizational values and create deeper engagement with your employees, customers, and partners. Music can also help you preserve your cultural norms and knowledge, and influence social change. By using music strategically, you can create a musical identity for your organization that sets you apart from the competition and makes you memorable.
At SoundStrategies, we've witnessed the transformative power of music in magnifying an organization's ethos. Through tailor-made songs and experiences, we help organizations in the tech, media, and design sectors breathe life into their values, ensuring they're not just words on a wall but emotions and beliefs echoing in every stakeholder's heart. Ready to set your values to a rhythm that resonates? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.