NEW YORK: Luxury brands are exploring the use of playlists on streaming sites such as Spotify to make an emotional connection with consumers, according to leading industry figures.

"Luxury brands are looking for ways to connect with their existing consumers, as well as aspirational buyers, and creating a branded Spotify channel affords a brand to showcase its unique voice and personality through music," Christine Kirk, chief executive of Social Muse Communications, a PR agency in Los Angeles, told Luxury Daily.

Brands such as Bergdorf Goodman, Pierre Balmain, Hugo Boss and Rebecca Minkoff have already gone down this route, either producing virtual "mix tapes" that embody the brand's character or developing playlists for particular events such as fashion shows.

For example, Hugo Boss, the apparel label, optimised the live stream from its show at Berlin Fashion Week for smartphones and tablets and presented it via Spotify in what was a first for the digital music service.

Kirk further noted that in addition to reaching target customers, brands could potentially find new ones as the playlists were shared across Spotify's large reach.

As well as making a connection with consumers through their musical preferences there are tangential benefits.

"Playlists allow luxury brands to share equity with the artists featured on those lists," observed Jason B. Cohen, executive vice president at The O Group, a New York branding agency.

"It's also a great opportunity for luxury brands looking to communicate a curatorial point-of-view," he added.

What it will not do, however, is produce a demonstrable ROI. "Building a community of Spotify followers on the platform itself isn't yet a great investment and it's unclear if this will ever be part of marketers' key objectives," remarked Marko Z. Muellner, senior director of marketing at ShopIgniter, a Portland-based social rich media platform.

That said, he noted that "brands are in constant need of great content to drive loyalty and sharing, and Spotify playlists can help fill that pipeline".

Data sourced from Luxury Daily; additional content by Warc staff