Extending the brand in iTunes
In some ways, a measure of a good brand (or maybe a good marketing agency) is how well it can extend itself into different medium. Most brands (or maybe, again, marketing agencies) have struggled with extending the experience of the brand online. Nike and Starbucks have done a decent job extending their experience online. Now they're trying it on iTunes.
If you haven't noticed, there are prominent links in the iTunes music store to Nike and Starbucks. Nike's site really focuses on different types of workouts, some featuring specific 'high-energy' artist like Crystal Method. Others seem to allow people to upload their own mixes. There's even a special section for mixes from their athletes include Lebron James, Steve Nash, Vince Carter and Ronaldo.
The Starbuck's mixes are a little less focused on their product. I guess that makes sense, it's one thing to have a workout mix but I've never heard of anyone having a coffee drinking mix. The site has some of the mixes offered in their stores and is supposed to give a coffee house sound, whatever that is.
I think Nike does a good job bringing extending their message into music by associating with exercises and sports stars. Starbucks, in my opinion however, doesn't do much for me in terms of extending the brand. It doesn't encourage use of their product and it doesn't really give any kind of experience. It's just music that you can get on other parts of the site. I'm sure that these brands go through a lot of 'hoops' to get on iTunes. If you're going to go through the effort, seems like you should extend your experience like Nike has done rather than just uploading coffee house play lists. - Paul Herring