Lyrical nonsense


As a young man I had a love for music with a visceral yet structural sense. Music that made you feel like you’d gotten on a train and traveled quite a distance by the end of the song. The thing that was not important to me was lyrics. Bands like Talking Heads and Bob Dylan, although admittedly smart, made me want to burn the radio. Their music had little or no sense of motion and that’s was why I didn’t listen to them. (This is also why I’m not a huge fan of rap.)  I didn’t want them to tell me a story. I wanted to hear the music and make up my own story.

Some of the bands that I liked included Nine Inch Nails, White Zombie and Ministry. These are notable bands where the singer made a conscious decision to use their voice as purely another instrument. Yes, there are lyrics back there but that sure isn’t the reason I’m listening. I’m listening because of the way it makes me feel. Later in life I turned my attention to Trance with Artists such as Paul Oakenfold; music completely devoid of lyrics and most recently I’ve spent time listening to dubstep. I have a love/hate relationship with much that’s out there with Skrillex falling into the “love it” side of things. Again, completely without true lyrics. Just samples strung together.

Brands need to focus on how they make people feel. Not their message. Not their lyrics. The talking head out in front representing the business may not be helping your business. Along with creating well defined marketing personas, you need to think about how you want your customers to feel when they use your product or service. Are they delighted? Do they feel empowered? How does your offering make you feel?

By Michael Myers

I'm an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I'm currently interested in artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, cycling, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive + surf. I'm passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and tattooing.