I’m all about getting emotional. I want messaging that makes me feel something.  And quite honestly some of the communications coming out of nonprofits just doesn’t cut it.  It’s pretty bland with its pretty photos and less than memorable  words, that look like everyone else’s advertising and branding.   There is no differentiation. I think we need to use venues that include compelling music to set the tone for brand story telling .   

Sure, we all have our favorite genres of music, but I maintain all music connects with the brain in a different way. And use of this branding  element makes the brand story much more memorable.  Today with the ease of YouTube, nonprofits can convey their the story with compelling music that will draw the customer in. Combine it with some imaginative animated illustration, and you have set the hook to  reel me in.

Experts say it is because “music distinctly transcends other sensory experiences.”  (Music and How It Impacts your Brain, Malini Mohana) .  Transcending is a pretty "out there" word but the latest brain discoveries around music reveal that the brain processes and translates music into emotion.  And this phenomenon crosses all cultures.

Music stimulates the brain to remember images, smells, and feelings that aren’t stored in memory.  I guess that is the transcendence part of it—and it’s somewhat of a mystery how this happens.  But I’m sure we all have an experience when we heard a melody or tune, andwere transported somewhere else, that we couldn’t just recall with memory alone. 

Music  triggers an emotional response.     Professor Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist and composer, explains the mystery by stating that music impacts the brains emotional, language and memory centers, creating a new experience.  And guess what? You really feel something that  touches you.  It may even bring a chill or take your breath away, or take you do a different place.  Levitin goes on to say this process can only be described as standing halfway between thought and phenomenon.

Well enough science.  We all get it. Music does the job of creating its own story world, outside of the ordinary.  And so the message of the nonprofit, be it a video or ad, are even more differentiating. Given this reality, it is surprising that marketing agencies aren’t more insistent about using music to accompany their brand story.  And if you do decide to use music, consider local musicians to write some music for you.  The right music can evolve to be your own distinctive tune.   

Let’s all raise the bar with better, more emotionally provoking music when we promote our message.  It’s a powerful tool in any nonprofit marketer’s tool box.   

HCollaborative  is a branding and marketing agency that specializes in creating powerful branding and communications for nonprofits often using music, video  and illustration. www.hcollaborative.com