In Archetypes, Branding

The Happiness Factor

A cultural brand index

imgres-1I have been a Pandora listener for years, perhaps since its inception. And for all these years, Pandora has nurtured my listening experience, anticipating the type of music that I love at every stage and introducing me to new artists along the way.

Immediate gratification

Their immediate gratification model allows you to choose your own experience and provide “like” or “dislike” feedback at regular intervals. This consistent experience has made me a huge fan of their brand and story. Sure they serve up ads every now and again, but I choose whether or not to be subjected to that environment. If I want no ads, I can pay a premium for that experience.

Ultimate brand loyalty model

Think about it, Pandora has created the ultimate brand loyalty model. They are delivering exactly what you ask for while allowing you to modify your experience at every stop along the way. Like the explorer brand archetype, you choose your own adventure. Just imagine being able to create that kind of branding experience for your own customers – an immediate and SMART feedback model, learning from likes or dislikes and delivering new and exciting products that match specific needs.

“We believe that each individual has a unique relationship with music – no one else has tastes exactly like yours.”

How does Pandora deliver?  They know that delivering a great radio experience to each and every listener requires an incredibly broad and deep understanding of music, which is why they created the music genome project.  Music “genes” lend to a sophisticated taxonomy of musical information where each song is analyzed using up to 450 distinct musical characteristics, allowing Pandora to capture qualities that are relevant to understanding their customers’ musical preferences.

For brand development experts, there is a lesson in this story.  Maybe it’s not practical to segment your customer wants and needs into 450 unique characteristics, and perhaps you cannot modify actual products ‘on the fly’.  However, you can dig into this story and find a few brilliant gems:

  • Pandora is committed to nurturing the customer ‘experience’
  • Pandora listens to customer needs and modifies process to meet those needs
  • Pandora has a compelling story that customers love
  • Pandora is committed to staying cutting-edge and up-to-date, a product quality their listeners highly value
  • Pandora builds on the story and delivers consistently time and again

“The name Pandora means “all gifted” in Greek. In ancient Greek mythology, Pandora received many gifts from the gods, including the gift of music, from Apollo. She was also, as we all know, very curious. Unlike those gods of old, however, we celebrate that virtue and have made it our mission to reward the musically curious among us with a never-ending experience of music discovery.”

These brand explorers have nailed it, as a listener I’m loving the journey and am happy to be a brand advocate!

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