Client: Music & Arts

Music, Lessons &
Rentals Brand
Hit Its Stride By
Kids To
Find Their Voice
Research | Strategic Planning | Brand Campaign | Promotions | Direct Mail | POP/POS | Store Design | Identity | Merchandising

F or nearly 50 years, Music & Arts had been providing instruments, lessons and rentals to children ages 8 – 16 in music programs across America. Founded on providing lesson plans to schools, Music & Arts had been ‘a friend to educators, safe to parents and fun for kids’ in more than 25% of schools. They believed they had hit a plateau and wanted to know if there was room for growth.

Finding Traction
While Music & Arts had been focusing on the instructor first, parents second and kids third for nearly half a century, we thought we saw an opportunity for growth in turning the model upside down. Starting with children, we conducted focus groups across the country to find out why kids played music – or didn’t – and what role a group like Music & Arts played.

During the focus groups, we noticed something that caught our attention. The kids in our groups drew – non-stop. They drew on their papers, they drew on their jeans and some even drew on each other. It was then that we were reminded how much kids need self-expression, and our ideas for how to connect with them took root.
Find Your Voice
Insight from parents revealed another interesting fact: practicing music was the only activity universally approved by parents – so much so that several admitted they would let homework time slide if their kids were playing. Not even sports received such strong support.
We turned Music & Arts’ messaging strategy upside down – changing the company’s internal mantra to “Cool to kids, safe for parents and a friend to educators,” putting kids first. The campaign used pictures of students playing instruments surrounded by hand-drawn illustrations in the same style we saw during the focus groups and the tagline, Find Your Voice, was a direct promise as to the benefits of learning to play an instrument.
Response to the campaign was overwhelmingly positive. Music & Arts saw a 19.5% increase in revenue in the first year and another 12.5% increase the year following. We decreased time-to-profitability by nearly 17% via a new store design influenced by the brand strategy and helped bring to life the company’s first-ever online shopping capability.

Five (5) years after we began working with them, Music & Arts was sold to Guitar Center for $90MM.


Sales Increase


Sales Increase


Helped Decrease Time-To-Profitability
Via New Store Design


Online Shopping


Sold to Guitar Center 5 Years
After We Began Working Together



The Perfect Staffing Solution

People 2.0


Website Redesign

Perfect Bodies

not so normal branding

A Different Kind Of Run

Not So Normal Run