March 01, 2006

It's all about the fans...

Today I had a discussion with a guy I met who is a music producer. We were talking about the difficulty for young talents to break through. New Zealand seems to have loads of young talents, but then there is a large gap between the base and the top groups which are breaking through.

We wondered why. As we talked about this I couldn't help thinking.
What is the difference between an artist and a tube of toothpaste or a bottle of beer or an MP3 player. Well no difference when it comes to branding. It's all about building and retaining fans, and its always the same challenge :
- Finding your audience (or target consumer) / and for that it is key to understand what / who you are ?
- Understanding who they are and what they want
- Meeting your audience (finding connections with them) hard to think what connection I can have with my toothpaste... but hey I know what I don't like... so there is a connection isn't it ?
- and then it is the fine line of continuing to do what you are best at while you start re-inventing yourself and growing / evolving your audience.

Good brands don't die, they evolve, transform over time, rejuvenate themselves. Check out Kevin's book "LOVEMARKS" if you don't know it... nice and refreshing. Great angle to look at branding / creating emotional connections.
Remember it's all about fans, creating fans and keeping them... Refocus your business around that idea.

Artists ... not an easy one. Painters, poets who become popular post mortem... they were ahead of their time. A brand can be ahead of its time but that's dangerous because no revenue = no business. A brand must generate revenue today. Some companies consider brands as an asset. I would agree with that. It's just that they are difficult to dissociate from people. Because somewhere it's the sum or factor of our combined attitudes which make a brand. In that way it would be hard to cut the ombilical cord... Brands are what you stand for as a company they are a part of yourself as an employee... you live and breathe the brand... (I can hear some laughs in the sales team - someone is talking about intellectual masturbation here... ?) well maybe... but then if you don't feel it that means you are not working for a strong brand. Ask people at Nike if they live and breathe the brand !

Well that's me today. If you read this please post some comments... makes me feel a bit less useless ;-)

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