Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Led Zeppelin & Brand Management. #rockmusic #ledzeppelin #branding #strategy #brands #brandmanagement

The other day I asked my teenage son which his favourite rock band was.

 “Led Zepp” he replied without hesitation.
I was a bit taken aback by this reference to a band which was even before my time.
“Hey I thought it would be a more current band, ‘Imagine Dragons’ or some such…” I replied

He shook his head, “Dad their music is repetitive and forgettable. But bands like Deep Purple, Rolling Stones, the Beatles and Black Sabbath... their music seems so well structured and distinct. Doesn’t feel dated at all. Those guys focused on their music not on their fans.” He added with a smile.
Wow. That was a fabulous lesson in branding.

We’re taught that the first postulate in brand management is: “Brands are built in the minds of the consumers.” And like good students we spend our careers second-guessing what consumers want. We segment them, look for insights and fine tune our brand propositions for small percentage point gains.
Much like the music companies who in the 1990's put-together bands that were fashioned around consumer market surveys.
Now, decades later those bands lie split and long-forgotten while these 70-year old legends still draw in crowds for their rock shows. It's perhaps because they never bothered about who they were talking to. They simply sang with all honesty about what they believed in. Those beliefs were couched in the issues of those times and therefore resonated so well with the people then. Some of those issues remain unresolved even today and perhaps that’s where my son finds common-ground with those bands of yore.
Isn’t this the lesson we ought to have imbibed in management school? That branding is a subset of a broader belief and  vision. The more powerful and honest the vision is, the more it will resonate with a wider audience cutting across segments and classes od people. Consumers will be drawn in by different aspects of that vision and will remain loyal as long as that vision is relevant in that society. Brand management is merely the fine-tuning of that vision.

And most importantly that process of discovery and dissemination should be enjoyable and fun. Straight from the heart or even better, from the soul.
 #rockmusic #ledzeppelin #branding #strategy #brands #brandmanagement