The Trap Music Museum is hands down one of the dopest attractions in the A. It brings trap culture to life, and allows attendees to experience the hustler lifestyle that artists like T.I and Gucci Mane stem from.
Although it started off as a pop-up activation to celebrate the 15th anniversary of T.I.’s Trap Muzik album, it quickly became a permanent destination because it’s truly a one-of-a-kind experience. The Trap Music Museum has realistic art installations that represent the development of the music scene that’s gone from local to international.
We studied how The Trap Music Museum came together and identified five essentials that you can apply the next time you want to create a unique in-person experience for your brand.
1. FEED THE AUDIENCE
The beauty of trap music is that the artists paints a vivid picture of their experience, so listeners can take a walk in their shoes. For instance, “Rubberband Man” is one of T.I’s greatest hits, and in the song he talks about the grind of a dope boy, going to prison and hustling until he escapes the trap. These experiences were brought to life in the Trap Music Museum. With art setups such as T.I’s Safe Room and Jeezy’s Snow Room, the exhibit allows attendees to be about the drug dealer life.
Take inspiration from the Trap Music Museum, and think through how you can create an opportunity for people to connect with your brand offline. As you develop this experience, evaluate the elements of your brand that can be amplified — just like TIP and his team did by having drug scales, baking soda and even Kool-Aid on display in Gucci’s Kitchen.
As a content creator or entrepreneur, you probably share some of the behind-the-scenes of building your brand online. Take it a step further and get creative on what your brand looks and feels like in-person. For example, curate a playlist of songs that capture your brand as a travel blogger or set a positive vibe in your venue with an essential oil diffuser if you’re putting on a wellness retreat.
Think through how can you feed one (or more) of your audience’s five senses, such as – sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch, through your brand experience.
2. PUT ON FOR THE CULTURE
The Trap Music Museum incorporated tons of culturally-relevant elements that gave people an up-close look at the environment. The studio booth, mixtapes and magazine covers on display, takeout containers and cups of ramen noodles, beer bottles, and blunt wrappers, are just a few examples.
The Trap Music Museum also brought the culture to life by serving as a platform for visual artists.
The exhibit tapped into nostalgia and culturally-relevant moments, such as showcasing T.I’s Grammy and MTV Music award in his Safe Room and bringing us back to the classic Jeezy the Snowman symbol.
3. LEVERAGE THE TREND
Let’s keep it a hundred real quick … people want to take dope pics that make them look cool on social media. Feed your audience’s vanity by giving them something to post about.
The Trap Music Museum is filled with Instagrammable installments – attendees have a chance to post up on the pink Chevy Caprice or insert themselves in Rick Ross’ album cover. This content creation goldmine tapped into the power of influencer marketing, which essentially is leveraging other people’s platforms to promote your brand.
Having social media worthy activations like creative backgrounds or photo booths drives user-generated content, which not only gets the word out about your brand but also helps you curate content to share on your own platforms.
Another trend that the Trap Music Museum built on was the popularity of escape rooms. Over the last few years, there has been a rise in the development of escape rooms, due to people looking for a fun, challenging activity to do with their friends. The Trap Music Museum’s “Escape the Trap” is an add on that challenges visitors to decipher cryptic codes and puzzles to break free from a locked room in 30 minutes or less.
Take a note from their playbook and find ways to weave various trends like these into your brand experience.
4. PLUS UP OPTIONS
The “Escape The Trap” activation is a play on words and ode to hustlers making it out of their hood and paving a better life for their family. An extension of The Trap Music Museum, this breakout room is an opportunity for attendees to have a premium experience.
The other rooms definitely immerse attendees in the trap lifestyle, but “Escape The Trap” takes it to another level. The mock apartment truly embodies a dope house and the actors that give clues really get into their character as drug users, with torn clothes and white powder on their nose. It’s like virtual reality but without the headset.
While the museum is only open on weekends, the escape room is open every day of the week and at $30 per person, this activation is an extra stream of income for their team.
They also sell merch with The Trap Music Museum logo so fans can rock their brand with pride.
If people are already excited about the experience you’re creating, identify a few ways to give them exclusive access or add ons that they’ll buy into.
5. DON’T SLEEP ON LOGISTICS
We partnered with The Trap Music Museum in June 2019 during our Culture Captial event series, which celebrates the impact of black and brown creatives while closing the gap between culture-shapers and the corporate world that profits from us. When we started planning this event, we put ourselves in our audience’s shoes and brainstormed how to create the most valuable experience for them. We did this by developing a program around how ambition and grit can lead to success, and talking to some of the people who brought The Trap Music Museum to life – including Marina Skye, the set designer, and Krystal Garner, the general manager. This edu-tainment style programming was fun but also gave attendees an opportunity to learn from the journies of those who made an impact on this exhibit.
We worked with them to secure Bombay Sapphire as the liquor sponsor and obtained seating so the attendees felt more comfortable. We also leveraged our relationships at Google to provide a valuable resource for creatives of color.
Don’t overlook the logistics of your event or experience because it can make or break how your audience perceives your brand.
TIP did it for the culture. He turned the pain of the dope dealer lifestyle into a work of art that people of all backgrounds can appreciate. Apply these five essentials to your strategy the next time you’re creating an offline experience for your brand.