Building a powerful brand: What a rock concert taught me about branding

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Where do you tend to go when you are looking for inspiration? I suppose for me, this answer varies but I never would have expected to receive inspiration about the power of building a brand at a rock concert.

This past week I was able to go see one of my favorite bands that I have been following since their beginning back in 2002. Since going to their concert the first time they came to Salt Lake City, I have connected with this band on a level that I have not done with any others. Their music was not only fun to listen to, but in some small way it seemed to become part of who I was. Why was that? It was because I connected with their message to the world (their brand). I believed in the band’s purpose and I embraced the causes that they stood for. If you are asking yourself “What does this have to do with my company or building my brand?” I urge you not to tune out quite yet.

A few years ago, I had quit following this band as faithfully as I once had. Due to life events, the lead singer had quit writing songs and the band faded out of the spotlight. Occasionally I would dust off their CD and give it a quick listen but it was never quite the same. Once they quit making the effort to reach out to their fans I began to lose the emotional connection that I once had with them.

Recently, the band found a new lead singer and went on tour to reconnect with the millions of fans that once followed them. This tour would be a defining moment for the group and would likely predict whether or not they would continue to be successful.

When I first arrived at the concert, I remembered thinking that I would never like this new lead singer as much as I had liked the first one. While this singer looked relatively similar to the first and seemed to have the same level of energy, I would never be able to connect with her in the same way… or would I?

Within the first 5 minutes of the concert, my thoughts had changed from “I am never going to enjoy this as much as I did before” to “Well, I suppose she isn’t SO bad.” After another 5 minutes I realized that I liked the new singer just as much as the previous one. After another 5 minutes, I was convinced that this new lead singer was much better than the original artist. The way that she interacted with us (the audience) was incredible! She would hand the microphone to members of the audience and let them sing along with the band. In between songs she would ask the fans what songs they wanted to hear that night and then sing them. Several times she had the stage crew turn on the lights so she could see us while she asked us questions to get to know us.

While I have seen other bands do similar things at concerts, what really made this experience so special was the singer walking off the stage and walking through the audience for an entire song. She made her way through the entire room and took time to acknowledge each fan. She would hug fans as she walked by, let them hold the mic while they got their picture taken with her and then would dance with us during parts of the song (all while singing the song flawlessly).

As she made her way through the crowd, she looked over at me, smiled, and then hugged both me and the person I was with before making her way back to the stage. That was a brilliant move on her part because in that moment, she not only sold me a copy of every future album the band will ever create but she also guaranteed that I will be at every future concert they have in Utah (and most likely I will bring several of my friends with me). Not only had I once again connected with my favorite band, but the band had now connected with me.

This is the impact that you want to have on your clients. You need to help them connect with your brand in such a way that they will not only continue to support you, but that they want to tell their friends about your product or service. As soon your customers feel an intimate connection with your brand, your company will be able to achieve its goals and you will see your vision come to life like never before.

This requires reaching out to your customers in ways that your competitors have not tried. Building a solid brand requires listening to what your customers truly need and then adapting your services and marketing strategy to meet those needs. As your customers see your dedication to helping them, they will reward you with their loyalty.

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Just to show you the power of this connection, I bet that you wanted to know the name of the band at least one time while reading about my experience. I also bet if I told you that the band’s name is “Flyleaf”, you would look them up online to see what they sound like. If my assumption is right, you should listen to two of my favorite songs City Kids and Blue Roses!

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