In today’s business, change is everywhere.
We want to build consistent brands that represent something tangible to our customers, but at the same time we are presented with perpetual change in how our customers experience and interact with our brands.
I recently sat down with Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington from Linkin Park to talk about their career and their new album One More Light coming out in May, and the new single “Heavy” which is climbing the charts right now.
Linkin Park has always been a band that defied definition. They were labeled nu-metal as they combined hard rock with hip hop and electronica. Over the years, they’ve added more pop elements, done harder rock projects, and experimented with Jay-Z on a mashup album of their hits. Each album has surprised fans because each album has introduced fans to new aspects of the Linkin Park sound.
I asked Mike if he felt that perpetual change and evolution was part of the Linkin Park brand DNA.
“Oh for sure. When I think of who a core Linkin Park fan is, I don’t think of age and I don’t think of gender, and I don’t think of style of music. I think of somebody who likes a lot of different types of music. There’s a community to Linkin Park. I feel like most of them are very diverse.”
Remember that your fans expect something specific from you. For fans of Linkin Park, experimentation and change is part of the expectation. But for many brands, change and experimentation is a risky thing. Most brands do not have perpetual change built into their DNA. Be very aware of what your customers expect from you, and act accordingly. If your customers expect you to be consistent, approach change with caution. On the other hand, if your customers are like Linkin Park fans and view change as essential to your brand, bring it on!
Linkin Park’s new song “Heavy” features guest vocals from Kiiara. You can hear the haunting track here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dmQ3QWpy1Q
Here is vintage Linkin Park, with their breakthrough hit “In The End”.