Rock On, Spotify! The Marketing Genius of “Wrapped”

Posted inBranding & Identity Design

This week, I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my Spotify account and saw my 2022 analysis all wrapped up and ready. This speaks to me of how seriously Spotify’s creative team takes their now expected compilation of one’s year. What I enjoy the most about Spotify Wrapped is that it uses brand strategy principles to tell its customers their own stories, with powerful, colorful designs to keep you interested, but not take away from their main ingredient: your music. It uses different shapes, sizes, and colors but uses one of your most-listened songs throughout the year to keep you interested.

You can sense quite early into the experience that the main message is you: what you liked, what you explored, and what you found out in 2022. Spotify makes it clear that, by using your data, they have all the tools to show you extended, comprehensive research of your year’s activity (preferences, genres, new artists, etc.) and make it easy for you to share it on your social media.

They create a narrative with messages echoing the moods that come from your music. They used a brand archetype model to help them create emotional connections with their customers, a thing that I have always enjoyed in order to allow individual personalities to flourish. According to Spotify, I’m a connoisseur; I’m not quite sure about that, but it makes me feel cool, so thanks, Spotify!

Brand values help companies or products signify what their brands stand for in the minds of target audiences and stakeholders. They drive culture by defining common ground for building messages and behaviors, and that is what Spotify does successfully in their Wrapped feature. What I liked the most about the 2022 edition is they created a set of values based on my activity to help me understand why I listen to the music that I listen to and how I could relate to others based on these values.

A brand strategy helps in forming the essence, tone of voice, DNA, personality, and positioning of a brand. Sometimes this could pass unnoticed to the naked eye, but mostly because it does its job of shaping the grounds and structure for a strong, meaningful, and creative brand.

Ricardo Saca is the US and Mexico Managing Partner for Cato Brand Partners, a Global Design and Branding Consultancy. He is a Master in Branding from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and has 20+ years of experience working with a wide range of companies, from startups to airlines. He is an animal lover and a plant-based cyclist.