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Mu Daiko Audience Research 2014




Mu Daiko was founded in early 1997 by Mu Performing Arts Artistic Director Rick Shiomi. Shiomi began his tako career with Katari Taiko in Vancouver in the late 1970s, and has also studied and performed with the San Francisco Taiko Dojo under Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka, New York’s Soh Daiko, and Wasabi Daiko of Toronto. His initial classes attracted students from both Mu actors and the general public, culminating in the Mu Daiko’s first performance in August 1997 at the Lyn-Lake Festival. Mu Daiko presented its first fulllength concert in October 1997. Mu Daiko has been able to create a loyal following in the Twin Cities, but there has been a major lack of young minority groups at Mu Daiko shows. In order to create a sustainable following, Mu Daiko wants to target a new audience - Millennials.


Many experts include those born from anywhere in the 1980s to early 2000s as Millennials (also known as Generation Y). This group is big and will soon outnumber the baby boomers who are starting to die out. For Mu Daiko, we will consider Millinniels from ages 18-32 From general research of millennials, we know that millennials are always connected, anti-advertsing, socially active and want entertainment to be fun and exciting. For Mu Daiko, they can be split into more specific groups.


YOUNG MOVERS & SHAKERS are currenly in college of have just graduated and around ages 18-23. They are in tune with all things social media and are very active in school and other outside activities. They want to learn about everything and love trying new things. They love art and social change, but are just starting to dabble their feet into an activist role.

LINDA Linda is in love with being involved with every club at school. She is part of student government, theatre and the woman of color club. She uses her voice in day-today matters and isn’t afraid of lettiner her opinions be known. Still figuring out what she wants to do for a career, she puts all her efforts into her social life and reading articles online. She is all about social justice and reblogs interesting posts on Tumblr, shares articles from the huffington post on Facebook and posts pictures of her and her friends on Instagram. She also loves to snapchat her friends on the daily. Her favorite social media outlet is Instagram.

LIKES Hanging out with friends, Student activites, Free events, Local music and art DISLIKES Injustice, racism, exclusion, bullies FAVORITE MUSIC Dessa, Beyonce, Lana Del Rey SOCIAL MEDIA FOOTPRINT Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, Twitter

KEN Ken is the male counterpart to Linda. He is an artist whether it be break dancing or acting, and wants to use his talents for good, but isn’t quite as active as Linda. He is aware of social injustices and what is going on with the world, but he does not reblog or share the way Linda may on social media. Occasionaly, he ill share an article or two, but he uses social media outlets like Facebook to keep in contact with friends. He does, however, enjoy going to events with friends.

LIKES Hanging out with friends, Student activites, Free events, Local music and art, Biking DISLIKES Injustice, racism FAVORITE MUSIC Atmosphere, POS, Doomtree SOCIAL MEDIA FOOTPRINT Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat


YOUNG ART SNOBS are currently in college or have just graduated and are around ages 18-23. They are similar to Young Movers & Shakers, but aren’t as involved in activism. They prefer reading about it online and going to galleries and music shows. They also appreciate good design and heavily judge things by aesthetic.

MEL Mel usually sits quietly in the background as her fellow sisters of color fight racism. She is a little more reserved and isn’t very involved in school and extracurricular activities. She does, however, loves to go to local art schows, lectures and music shows. While Linda is more of a performing artist, Mel is visual. You can usually find her taking pictures of interesting things at street festivals or drinking coffee at Spyhouse.

LIKES Making art, collaborating with other artists, hanging with friends, going to gallery shows, shopping at thrift stores DISLIKES Racism, distasteful art, injustice FAVORITE MUSIC Bon Iver, Arcade Fire, Yuck SOCIAL MEDIA FOOTPRINT Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter

STEVEN Steven is very similar to Ken except he spends his time screenprinting posters and going to art shows. He is aware with the world he lives in, but chooses not to get too involved. He appreciates unconventional art. You can find him in his studio, focusing on his work.

LIKES Making art, collaborating with other artists, hanging with friends, going to gallery shows, block parties DISLIKES Corny art, racism, injustice FAVORITE MUSIC Drake, John Legend, LCD Soundsystem SOCIAL MEDIA FOOTPRINT Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter


LEADERS used to be YOUNG MOVERS AND SHAKERS during their college ages. They are around the ages of 23-32. They just finished school and are getting more in tune with their identity. They have a steady job that allows them to focus most of their time outside of work on their art and taking on new hobbies. They are confident in using their tools and talents for good. They want to delve deeper into their art that connects them to their identity such as writing (spoken word, poetry, prose) and they become the organizers of protests and social justice events.

KIM KIM is intune with her self-identity and comfortable in her skin. She has many interests, but focuses on her art outside of work or makes her art her main career (she may have multiple jobs). She loves going trying new restaraunts, hanging with a close group of friends and going to local art events, but she is still smart with her money from what she learned in her college years. She is starting to get on Pinterest and keeps in touch with college friends via Facebook.

LIKES Organizing, workshops (whether it’s writing or acting), going to shows of all sorts DISLIKES Racism, injustice, exclusion FAVORITE MUSIC Polica, Dessa, Mayda SOCIAL MEDIA FOOTPRINT Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr

JOSH JOSH finds a way to incorporate his interests into his job. He is involved with social injustice and works on his own art, but isn’t active as KIM on social media. He likes to go on different websites and blogs to get information, but doesn’t share them unless they really spark his interest. He can be found at Icehouse enjoying a local show.

LIKES Going to events and parties, local music and art DISLIKES Corny art, mainstream FAVORITE MUSIC Polica, Dessa, Mayda SOCIAL MEDIA FOOTPRINT Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter


Millennials are an important audience to tap into because they are future learders. A relationship with Mu Daiko can be sustainable and beneficial financially later. These are following information on Millennials.


Millennials grew up with a neoliberal approach to politics and economics. They are aware of the world around them and take ownership in issues affecting them and their community. They are a philanthropic group - 61% of them are worried about the state of the world and feel personally responsible to make a difference.


Millennials are “digital natives�. They are always connected and in fact, according to a study done in Decemember 2012 by KRC Research, 65% of them say that losing their phone or computer is worse than losing their car. Yes, millenials are on their phones constantly. publish-images/news/2013-09-04/8d87c55b-0bb7-47ed-9a54-1ba4ce30dc8e_142535102.jpg


Facebook has been the main social media platform for Millennials in the past few years, but recently, Facebook has been on the decline. Millennials are going to Instagram and Twitter to create their own online personalities and communicate with their peers and favorite brands.

“Twitter and Instagram are particular appealing to younger adults as well as urban dwellers and nonwhites. The two social networking platforms seem to have a lot of overlap as well.“ - Pew Research Center


In a world full of technology and being wired 24/7, Millennials find excitement in going to events where they feel part of the crowd. They want to feel part of something and value moments where they can come together and connect with peers.

They love when brands cater to their needs. This means they want utility, entertainment, information, rewards and recognition. They also love unconventional ads, gamification (interacting and competing with friends), ownership, discovering new things and brands are everywhere (constantly searched online or even hashtagged).


Through researching millennials and defining the main target audience groups, marketing to these groups doesn’t seem as big as a feat as made out to be.


With Mu Daiko’s show “Rhythm in Motion” quickly approaching, these ideas are simple solutions to applied now.


Instagram and Twitter allow brands to build their own personas. Luckily, Instagram and Twitter work well together in posting images and starting trends. Instagram is great to post behind-the-scenes images and videos, promotional images and videos and other fun things to represent the Mu brand. Through Instagram & Twitter , other users can tag Mu Performing Arts and hashtag the current events. Fans are already hashtagging Mu, Mu should just reinforce it. According to Mashable, word of mouth and a friend reccomendation is much more powerful than a message directly from a brand. ‘Crowdsurfing’ images can be a great way of representing Mu Daiko through the viewers’ lens and lets them know that their opinion and them matter. They can also post viral videos through social media.

Looking at other local theatre company’s twitter and how they reach a big following.

Current hashtags on Instagram

Nasty Gal holds contests on Instagram all the time and makes sure users hashtag their brand.


Millennials love interacting with others online and love games (gamification is a huge trend). Mu Daiko can have a photo or video contests on Instagram and Twitter (or even Vine). For example, a contest could be naming one of the drums - a user can create a video on why the drum should be named their name. The one with the most likes or comments can win. Or another example could be “How do you use rhythm in everyday life?�. Users can submit how they use rhythm or make beats through videos or photos. They can win free tickets or a free lesson.


Millennials love getting their hands on new things and learning. Mu Daiko classes are perfect for them, but they can’t always find a way to get to Mu Daiko’s studios. To build the Mu Daiko audience, Mu Daiko can offer mini class sessions at different college events or with different groups. For example, Mu Daiko drummers can teach a small group like a women of color group at St. Kate’s some quick lessons. This will build an audience with the college group.


In the long-run, Mu Daiko wants to have a sustaining relationship with its younger audience members. These ideas will build Mu Daiko’s brand and awareness out.


Millennnials love festivals and block parties - really, anything that brings tons of people together and allows people to shave a dialogue. One great event Mu Daiko can take part of is Northern Spark - an all night arts festival located within the Twin Cities. This will be great for outreach and getting the Mu Daiko brand out to millennials. Other events that could be considered are Pride, Mill City Farmer’s Market and more.



Everyone loves music - especially millennials. Mu Daiko can have a concert with local musicians that are upbeat and fun . This show can feature artists that bring in diverse crowds as well as are big names in local music. Artists can include Mayda, Lizzo, POS and more.


The Minneapolis/St. Paul fashion scene is growing into its own. Inspired by Rick Owens’ Spring 2014 show featuring step dancers, Mu Daiko will team up with local fashion designers such as the ones at MN Fashion (or possibly a college program) to create a fashion and music filled evening. Designers will create a cohesive line of costumes for Mu Daiko players to wear as they perform a set in a runway-type show. There could even be projectors and cool lights. MN Fashion’s Voltage show does this in a similar matter - combining fashion and rock.

Rick Owens Spring 2014


Millennials are a visual group - they appreciate good design and want something different. In order to tap into this market, a great way would be to collaborate with visual artists (could be local and national) and create pieces that can show Mu Daiko in its true light. One idea is to collaborate with media artsits and create projections for a Mu Daiko show (something that can incorporate cool lighting that works with drums) or create an installation at a gallery. Another idea is to collaborate with photographers and art directors to create beautiful images. Interesting images spread like wildfire on Tumblr - especially


The biggest way to build an audience is to go to them. These following groups can create great partnerships with Mu Daiko. - Minneapolis College of Art and Design (Student Activities) - University of St. Catherine (Women of Color, SKAT) - Local restaurants (Perhaps performance at a restaurant that millennials like? Or coupons from hot millennial spots?) - University of Minnesota groups (HMSA) - Northern Spark - Minneapolis Institute of Art - Walker Art Center - First Avenue


Mu Daiko has great potential in reaching a younger audience group, but first, Mu Daiko has to raise awareness that Mu Daiko exists. Through powerful social media messages and strictly targeting the younger audience and relating to them, Mu Daiko can create a sustainable relationship. The biggest opportunity is mastering social media outlets such as Twitter and Instagram since Facebook is starting to die out for millennials. The second is creating a new Mu Daiko experience that millennials enjoy - engagement and excitement. Mu Daiko definitely has a great future as long as audiences can feel a part of something bigger.


PEW RESEARCH CENTER millennials-confident-connected-open-to-change. pdf PEW RESEARCH CENTER / SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATE Reports/2013/Social%20Networking%202013.pdf THE MILLENNIAL IMPACT

Mu Daiko - Audience Research  

Mu Performing Arts asked me to research and define their target audience for Mu Daiko, their professional Japanese drumming group.

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