Brand Matters: Rock Your Brand in 2013!
I am a brand builder. I am a lifelong learner. I also am a Bruce Springsteen aficionado.
Recently, after participating in one of his rock concerts at the Pepsi Center in Denver (no die-hard fan merely attends a Springsteen concert … we stand, sing, clap and dance all night, all 20,000-plus of us!), those three dots unexpectedly connected for me as I reflected on his nonstop, more than 3-hour exhilarating performance. Yes, the man is a rocker and a poet and a performer, but he's also an example of a long-lasting, very well-orchestrated brand that does things right. A brand we can all learn from, no matter your musical preference.
This wasn't the first time I had seen "The Boss" live. While our paths never crossed in my home state of New Jersey, my first live event was back in the '80s in Miami for his "Born in the U.S.A. Tour." I've since had the joy of seeing him perform several other times. He has never disappointed. His musical accomplishments during the last four decades are too many to note here and are not the purpose of this column. Suffice it to say, he has "street cred." Here are four lessons The Boss has to teach us about branding:
1. No Retreat, No Surrender
At last count, Springsteen has sold more than 120 million albums worldwide during his career. He's one of the few musicians with his own Sirius radio station, where fans can listen to "all Bruce all the time." At 63, he could certainly coast or retire or simply repackage his past hits. But he doesn't. He continually creates. He loves what he does and it shows.
He's all-in at every performance, giving his fans 3-plus hours of his very best (and then, an encore!). Fully engaging his "customers" with stories, songs and humor, Springsteen's passion and enthusiasm is as strong as it was in his earlier days. In Denver, he happily welcomed the concert first-timers and thanked his long-timers. He said he knew he still had something to prove. Whether your brand is 40-plus years old, four years old or four months old, are you still "all-in"? How are you staying in the game? How are you upping your game?
Andrea Syverson is the founder and president of creative branding and merchandising consultancy IER Partners. For 20+ years, Andrea’s joy has been inspiring clients with innovative approaches to branding, product development and creative messaging. She’s the author of two books about brand building and creating customer-centric products that enhance brands: BrandAbout: A Seriously Playful Approach for Passionate Brand-Builders and Merchants and ThinkAbout: 77 Creative Prompts for Innovators. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.