5 Important Marketing Lessons from Coachella

Why this iconic musical festival stays trending with the influential Gen Z market and how you can learn from their approach.

As the dust settles on an electrifying first weekend Coachella music festival, social media and the news are still buzzing with the best – as well of the worst – moments from the iconic event. 

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, often known simply as Coachella, is a music festival hosted every year in California, USA. However, Coachella isn’t just a musical festival. Its influence has moved beyond the music space into a social media phenomenon – thousands attend to showcase their personal and professional brands. 

If you’re wondering – “why should Coachella matter to me?” – keep reading. The marketing campaigns that we’ve seen from Coachella and its attendees this year offer valuable lessons about how you can reach Gen Z and Millennial audiences. 

Utilise the power of influencers

Coachella has evolved beyond simply a music festival, instead becoming synonymous with celebrity sightings and influencer collaborations, making it a prime example of harnessing the power of influencers in marketing. 

This year, breakout TikTok star Alix Earle, who has over 10 Million followers across platforms, partnered with start-up soda brand Poppi. Poppi trusted purely in the organic pull of Alix as an influencer, focusing all of their efforts purely on transporting her and her friends to a Poppi-branded house at Coachella.

@alixearle

Welcome to Casa Poppi #coachearlea 🍋🍋‍🟩 @Ashtin Earle @kristin konefal @sallycarden @zz @patrick ta

♬ TiK ToK – Kesha
Influencer Alix Earle creates content dedicated to soda brand Poppi after they endorsed her Coachella trip.

In this case brand awareness was raised solely through Alix’s authentic posts on social media. Influencer endorsements can allow you to genuinely resonate with specific groups who will have personal interest in your offering. Even brands with a long history, such as Guess Jeans, describe influencer endorsements at events like Coachella as “the best campaign possible”.

By identifying influencers whose values align with your brands and reaching out to create partnerships, you can effectively leverage their influence to expand your awareness of your brand and drive traffic to your social media and website.

Create immersive experiences

There’s been a boom of interest around “guerilla marketing” tactics lately – essentially the use of unconventional tactics, such as disrupting public spaces. Coachella has been doing this for a while, with brands vying to host pop-ups at the festival.

Tequila brand 818 was one such brand, they created a fully-immersive Western themed bar that was the buzz of the festival. Similarly, a series of billboards dedicated to specific artists were posted along major roads into the festival, delivering personalised tongue-in-cheek messages from the most popular musicians. 

Coachella billboard for artist Tyler, The Creator

The playful messages were shared far and wide across social media and in the press, continuing to create huge hype around the festival. This only proves that there is still a place for impactful print and physical marketing. If you’re looking to shake things up for your business, you might consider whether physical marketing materials are a viable option. Keep things light or interesting to really make an impression on the public.

Let your customers do the talking

User generated content, or UGC for short, is self explanatory – it refers to the type of content that your customers or users independently create about your product or service, such as reviews or product photos.

Coachella brings a flood of user-generated content to social media, with attendees sharing their outfits, crowd shots and backstage moments. This cultivates Coachella’s specific image – a western, hippie Gen-Z vibe – and exposes them to new networks without them even trying.

This is where the power of FOMO is obvious. “FOMO” or the fear of missing out can be a powerful tool for your business – when everyone seems to be enjoying something, people don’t want to miss out. Creating an “in crowd” who associates with your business drives others to invest to avoid FOMO.

Encouraging your customers to share their experiences, testimonials and product photos creates a wealth of valuable user-generated content that you can also share on your own platforms to enhance your marketing strategy. Think about ways you can encourage user-generated content: offering incentives, for example, for people who leave reviews.

Image is everything

Coachella has moved beyond simply being a musical festival, becoming an aesthetic showcase. Fashion and photography are at the heart of what Coachella is all about. Niche subcommunities that have developed through social media in recent years thrive through sharing content under specific hashtags.

This goes to prove that impactful and consistent imagery and branding across your website, social media, and email marketing campaigns will both aid in creating a recognisable image associated with your brand, and will resonate with the audiences you are hoping to connect to. It is worth investing time and potentially budget into getting your branding right, even crafting your own niches.

Stay trending

Iconic pop-culture moments are crafted at Coachella. Take the numerous guest performances – Olivia Rodrigo appeared alongside 90’s icons No Doubt last weekend, creating a buzz for fans of both artists and highlighted how reinventing and refreshing your brand can have the effect of exposing your brand to new audiences – No Doubt became known to a whole new generation following Olivia’s endorsement. 

@livbedumb

im the biggest no doubt fangirl❤️ was such an honor to sing with them at @coachella last night!!! ily @Gwen Stefani !!!!

♬ original sound – Olivia Rodrigo
TikTok post from Grammy-award winning artist Olivia Rodrigo saluting her performance with group No Doubt at Coachella last weekend.

Over last weekend, thousands of posts were made on TikTok and Instagram with the topic “Coachella 2024” garnering millions of views. Audiences are keen to involve themselves in events like Coachella even without being in attendance. By keeping your finger on the pulse of current events means you can create organic exposure for your business, especially on social media. You shouldn’t be afraid to be bold, fun or creative with this either – people are coming to social media to be entertained! If you’re not sure where to start, subscribing to a daily newsletter might be a good idea.

How will you diversify your marketing strategy as Festival Season continues? Get in touch to find out how we can help.

Written by

Picture of Rebecca Phoenix

Rebecca Phoenix

Email and Social Media Marketing Assistant.

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