Week 1 of Many.
Some of the greatest players in music-The Beatles, Bob Dylan and David Bowie-amongst others have established remarkably resilient brands. How have they done it? What can we learn?
Whether we like their music is immaterial: they are amazing success stories. Paul McCartney still tours to packed venues at 64. Bob Dylan has a chart topping album-Modern Times- at 65 which makes him the oldest ‘pop star’ in the charts. Bowie continues to look superb in his latest re-incarnations.
What have they done? They have re-invented. Regularly and consistently. They have not been held back by their audiences, their market (it took time for Beatle fans to accept their heroes would never again be seeing literal ‘love’ songs). They have accepted criticism in the gap (Bowie fans really didn’t want to let 'Ziggy' go) before their customers have caught up with them. And they have accepted time in the wilderness (don’t even mention Dylan’s move from acoustic to electric).
Now take a look at the business success stories that we admire. Starbucks, Apple, John Lewis, Prêt-a-Manger. What have they done? They have re-invented. They have not been held back by their audiences, their market (Starbucks created a whole new market for quality coffee in the USA and the UK and in much of Europe where decent coffee was already respected, turned it into more of an experience with quality music). They have accepted criticism in the gap (why don’t you make your operating system more public of Apple?) before their customers have caught up with them ('what is this iPOD thing?'). And they have accepted time in the wilderness ('John Lewis –just another department store. And department stores have had their day').
We’re going to study these bands in more detail: learn what they did (not always consciously in the early days of course) and replicate their methodologies. We’ll be starting next Saturday with the Beatles. Official site. Wikipedia.
Be there. 10 am would be perfect.