BACKGROUND / CHALLENGE:
SESAC began in 1930 and grew to become one of the most recognized and established PROs in the world (a PRO is a Performance-Rights Organization – the NY based firm ensures copyright holders are paid for the performance and use of their works). SESAC represents some of the biggest artists across every generation of music including Adele, Green Day, Jack Harlow, Ariana Grande, Burna Boy, Neil Diamond and Bob Dylan
Today, SESAC is now SESAC Music Group and has expanded beyond a PRO into a global, multi-faceted, modern music company With an expanding business, organized into functional verticals, they brought in WANT Branding to optimize the brand by creating a powerful positioning for the corporate brand, a brand architecture strategy to amplify that positioning and empower cross and up selling, and positionings for the various verticals.
WANT had previously worked with SESAC in 2021 to create the MNRK Music Group brand for their independent record-label and music management company. With this prior learning in hand, we began the discovery phase to sort out a very complex business and portfolio.
We began the project with a series of stakeholder interviews in which we met with leaders of the various businesses across verticals and the corporate brand’s leadership team. Additionally we audited the corporate brand’s competitors to analyze their go-to-market positionings in order to create a differentiated positioning strategy for SESAC Music Group.
Next, WANT worked with the leadership team to reposition the company, choosing the positioning idea of “Everywhere In Music” to position the company as a leader in the music industry including and beyond their original PRO function. We developed the brand manifesto to narrativize and support the positioning. A sample of which follows,
“Today, SESAC Music Group is way more than a PRO – we’re a modern music company. We’re the home for publishers, artists, writers and creators across every corner of the music industry. From licensing to sonic branding to performance rights and beyond – everywhere there’s music you’ll find SESAC Music Group.”
With a powerful new positioning in place for the corporate brand, we then set out to clean-up and organize their brand architecture. We created and named 5 unique business verticals to help organize SESAC’s collection of companies and to ensure the creation of cross selling potential within the verticals. Once we had created the new go-to-market structure, we created 5 distinct positionings for each of the verticals to ensure a consistent narrative across the various businesses and brands within each. For example, for the “Performing Rights” vertical we created the positioning idea “Power On Your Side” to communicate SESAC Performing Right’s unique history, commitment and capabilities dedicated to rights holders.
Finally, our design team set out to create a powerful, succinct visual to create consistent understanding of the business and brand across SESAC’s leadership team and the various market brands teams. We created a short PDF describing the business, visualizing the brand architecture, and outlining the various positionings.
After a few months of work, SESAC Music Group had the powerful positioning, carefully constructed brand architecture, and leadership alignment needed to go-to-market as a company capable of making a difference everywhere in music.