By Rich Dawes
At DawBell we work with both Rockstars and Brands. The reason this works so well is that brands want to be rockstars.
Rockstars have their own unique compelling story that people buy into, they want people to like them, they want people to buy things from them, they want their reputation protected, they want to stay relevant and they need crisis management regularly. Rockstars can not take an existing audience from their last release or tour for granted, they need to come up with a new concept to engage with people that not only satisfies fans of the previous output but also find new ones. If they do not, there is always another artist out there who will attract that audience away.
Brands need the same: They want people to like them, they want people to buy their products, they want to be relevant to a specific audience but not at the expense of their reputation which can come into the firing line whenever new creative ideas come into the mix that dare to do something a bit interesting and for this reason they need crisis management but less often. Brands also need a unique compelling story that people buy into. Brands used to be able to sell a number of products year on year with the right awareness and customer satisfaction but now (unless it is an exceptionally unique and hard to make product) competition has exploded so there are now a plethora of options for the consumer. To stay relevant to your consumer base, to retain that loyalty to continue to excite your demographic that brand needs to have a new story - the next chapter of the saga. I heard a great term recently from a friend in the ad world - ‘sequential storytelling’.
This is why we see so many brands use famous names to affirm and associate with their brands and why so many celebrities and musicians speak on stage with CEOs about their experiences of creativity, endurance, and diversification beyond their core selling point. Just look at The Cannes Lions - Gwyneth Paltrow, Channing Tatum Will Smith and Gary Barlow all spoke at the festival because brands, CEOs, advertisers and consumer brand PRs want to get a taste of how that magic gets created and preserved.
Brands could do well to forget looking at themselves as a product and start thinking of themselves as a rockstar. To ask themselves what would Taylor Swift do?