You’ve just flown half way across the world for a meeting, jet lag is about to kick in and you can’t decide whether you should eat now or try to get on the local timetable. You know what you need? A gig.
I don’t think that was exactly how the brainstorming session went but that is certainly what is on offer now at Renaissance Hotels following their announcement of a number of music partnerships. First off we have live entertainment mega brand, AEG, who by the sounds of it will be the driving force in this new music adventure. Then sneaking in through the VIP entrance are Universal Music Group and Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to create a team of really big entertainment brands. The purpose of all this is to make Renaissance Hotels the only hotel group offering a “variety of unique activities and platforms”, music ones that is. The plan seems to be a combination of exclusive events for clientele, priority access to AEG events and a bunch of content for the in-room tv channels and various websites. One novel idea is that they are also offering “Meeting Discoveries” which will allow you to follow that six hour management meeting with access to special events.
The reason this partnership has lead me to write is that it is quite a bold move by a hotel chain seeking to gain more corporate business. Traditionally hotels look to sonic branding to create relaxing, comfortable experiences out of alien environments. The traditional use of music is to enhance the physical space with tranquility, cue pan pipes in the toilets and a pianist in reception. So for a brand like Renaissance Hotels to explore the idea of music experimentation is very much away from the norm and it will be interesting to see if the weary business travellers embrace this opportunity to choose a hotel offering live music over one with softer pillows.
The interesting thing here is not the output of the partnership but who is leading it, if Renaissance Hotels make this work it will be fun to see how the competition reacts. Maybe you’ll see Holiday Inns offering a spare TV in every room so you can live like a rockstar and throw one out of the window.
If you want to know more about this partnership you can read all the details here on twst.com (The Wall Street Transcript).
UPDATE: I couldn’t sleep last night as I kept having flashbacks of Universal Music Group doing something hotel-ly recently. Well maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration but this morning I flicked back through my old posts and guess what they have, but with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. While not exactly the same kind of partnership there are definitely a few similarities such as live events in hotels. The key difference is the audience, Fairmont seem to be targeting people on holiday while Renaissance are after the business market.
In the same way there are supposedly only meant to be 7 story plots there are probably only a limited number of basic music and brand partnerships, the key to making them feel unique is in the implementation and that comes down to how well the brand and the music work together. After all you will never stop music from jumping into bed with somebody else.