Manage your brand like a band

There is a lot to learn from the music industry. It is a business that has gone through a lot of change ever since it started, yet it has a consistent approach in managing their superstars: the brands of the music industry!

The below lessons can help you to look at your brand differently or give you a different perspective. Have some fun while pretending you are managing your brand as if it were your number one band!

 

Lesson 1: A good story sells
Remember T.A.T.u? Profiled as lesbian singers causing controversy when kissing on a music video. It worked. A lot of press brought T.A.T.u. to the attention of many, resulting in singles and albums that were selling very well.
When it turned out the singers of T.A.T.u. were not lesbian things started to go downhill for the band. A good story sells, but it better be a real one.

Ask yourself: what is the story of your brand? Do you have one? Is it real? Is it personal?

Lesson 2: Never lose focus
Singers and bands all have unique styles. Their styles are their product categories and differentiation. When you hear on the radio your favourite brands, eh bands, you need only a couple of seconds to recognise them! It is the power of brand familiarity.

You will not see successful artists changing styles. Imagine the techno artist moving into classic or the rock band becoming a euro dance band? While many artists could do many different things they have learned that if they become everything to everyone, they will become nothing to no one.
Ask yourself: is your brand focused or does it mean many different things to many different people? Is there an opportunity to focus?

Lesson 3: Grow around your core
Artists grow, they modernise their style, they adapt to society and new trends. Growth is always natural and never radical. Think about Madonna, growing her brand by catching trends and expressing them in her own unique style.

Ask yourself: how has your brand grown? Have you stayed consistent or moved in many different categories? How do your consumers / customers really see you?

Lesson 4: Familiar but new
The music industry is a master in pushing new versions of the same songs. Think about all the special mixes, never heard before versions, live concerts, remixes, remastered versions, versions with booklets, ultimate editions and more.

Even bands that do not exist anymore still keep selling new materials. For example, The Doors released six studio albums, their last official album is from 1971. This does not stop them from pushing out new materials even as recent as last week!

The keyword here is New. After all, people are interested in New and buying New.

Ask yourself: do you clearly market new features or functionalities as New? Are they the main story in your marketing?

Lesson 5: Styles go out of tune
Music styles go out of tune. For example baroque music, once super popular, it is now a real niche. The same is happening to brands. Today’s popular product categories with popular brands will turn – over time – into a niche or simply die. Think MP3 music players, vinyl albums or CDs.

Ask yourself: in what business are you really in?

This post appeared in Markkinointi & Mainonta

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