The brand I am reviewing for my case study is the band Portugal. The Man because, 1.) They are my favorite band, 2.) They have a very strong and unique brand that they have cultivated themselves over many years of music production, and 3.) They have a very diverse social media presence that makes for an interesting study.
First off, they have a very interesting aesthetic. The band’s front man John Gourley does the artwork for the band’s album covers, which also transcends the band’s merchandize, set designs for live shows, music videos, and other aspects of the band’s public image. The art is a good representation of the band’s sound: surreal, strange, different, yet simple and accessible.
Another thing that sets Portugal. The Man’s brand apart from other bands and brands on social media is their level of interaction with their fan base. They go beyond the occasional Facebook update. They are active on Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, Rdio, and other social media sites, constantly posting exclusive content almost daily, whether it be live performances, contests, tour photos, or artwork from Gourley. One thing that they do is take a picture of the crowd from the stage of every show that they play and post it on Facebook. Then fans find and tag themselves on their Facebook. This creates a sense of closeness with the band though social media, creating not only a great fan experience beyond the music, but also very loyal fans.
One cool thing that Portugal. The Man recently did was post the raw tracks of their songs on SoundCloud so that people could download them and remix them. Whereas many artists fight hard to protect their music and keep it in its original form, Portugal. The Man did the opposite. They gave people the raw sounds from their songs to mix and then promoted any good remixes on their site. This again is an interactive social media experience that creates a very engaged and loyal fan base.
Bands and brands alike can learn a lot from Portugal. The Man because they demonstrate the power of connectivity and openness in creating a brand. They also demonstrate how a dynamic brand can be inspired by its fans as much as it inspires people. That is the power of social media branding. It can work both ways.