Supply And Demand


It used to be that scarcity drove up value. It was simple supply and demand. When something is rare, it is more valuable.

In music we can find endless examples. The posthumous brand values of artists like Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, and Elvis Presley are far greater than their brand values prior to their deaths.

After John Bonham died and Led Zeppelin disbanded, every Page/Plant interaction became a major event. Their 2007 reunion show at the 02 Arena in London became the live music event of the decade.

We have yet to experience it, but there is a good chance that each unreleased song from the Prince archives will become extremely valuable.

Low supply = high demand = even higher value.

Today it seems like that equation might be broken.

The Weeknd is one of the top-selling artists in the world. His first single appeared in the fall of 2012, just over four years ago.

Since that time, The Weeknd has released three studio albums, three mixtapes, one compilation album (featuring all 3 mixtapes), and a mind-boggling 26 singles.

In just over four years, The Weeknd has released 26 singles. That’s an average of 6.5 singles per year. Think about that for a second.

To put that in perspective, over the course of their career The Rolling Stones have released 109 singles so far. But they put their first single out in 1964… that was 52 years ago. That’s an average of just over 2 singles per year.

Aerosmith has pumped out 63 singles since 1973. That’s an impressive number, but it is only about 1.5 singles per year.

Bruce Springsteen has given us 69 singles since ’73, a production level similar to Aerosmith.

Madonna’s career has seen her release 83 singles since 1982, which is a solid 2.44 singles annually.

None of those legendary artists even come close to The Weeknd’s incredible pace of 6.5 singles per year.

The game has changed.

For those heritage artists, the game was about releasing the right number of albums and singles, and touring just the right amount. Artists timed their releases so that they could do an album, release multiple singles while touring to support the album, take a year or so off, and then release a new album. And it worked.

Today’s artists live in a world of instant gratification. They compete with artists everywhere on the globe, creating and releasing new music incessantly. They exist in an environment where you can create and release a song, get millions of streams and downloads, and then decide if you even want to do an album or tour. They collaborate and co-create in an unprecedented way.

Today’s artists also live in a cycle of perpetual media exposure. If you’re not doing something noteworthy, you’re irrelevant.

Is your business staying top-of-mind?

Being top-of-mind today means being perpetually present in your marketing, having a constant social dialog, and continually evolving your products and creating new products.

You never want to flood the market to the point of devaluing your product, but in today’s world you cannot sit back and be invisible, hoping your die-hard fans will crave your product in six months or a year. You need to be evolving, growing, changing, and adapting.

The Weeknd has released 26 singles in four years, and that’s the new normal.

Drake has released 85 singles in his nine year career. That blows The Weeknd out of the water! Drake is averaging almost 18 singles per year.

Drake’s girlfriend Rihanna has released 64 singles since 2005, just short of 6 singles per year.

Kanye West has released 110 singles since 2003, just about 8.5 singles per year.

The game has changed.

Will you change with it?

By the way, the new album Starboy by The Weeknd is nothing short of amazing. You really should listen to it. The man is prolific because he’s brilliant.

Put the lessons of music legends to work to help you build a better business. You can still order Brand Like a Rock Star with one-click on Amazon and have it delivered well before Christmas. 

Aerosmith, Bob Marley, Drake, Elvis Presley, Kanye West, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, Rihanna, Rolling Stones, The Weeknd 682 Comments

Who Is Your Enemy? The Rolling Stones vs. The Beatles

Start You Up final cover

People tend to think there was a bitter rivalry between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, but nothing could be further from reality.

The appearance of a rivalry was stoked by the marketing of Stones manager Andrew Oldham, who envisioned his band as edgier than the clean-cut Beatles. In the band’s early marketing he even used the headline “would you let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone?” to reinforce their bad boy image.

The Rolling Stones used The Beatles as their rival in order to establish clearly who they weren’t.


Target uses Walmart as their Beatles when they say “Expect more”. Walmart is about saving money, and Target wants to be perceived as quality-driven.

Lowes uses Home Depot as their Beatles when they advertise “Let’s build something together”. Home Depot is for the do-it-yourselfer. Lowes wants to reach people who are intimidated by doing it themselves.

What makes you different from your competition is your strongest marketing strategy.

If you’re an upstart business and you have the balls to do it, this is a powerful four-step tool

1. Identify the market leader.

2. Understand clearly why their customers love them.

3. Use those very attributes against them in your marketing.

4. Be clear, direct, and name names. Take no prisoners. Be relentless.

So who is your Beatles?

The new book Start You Up shows you how to use the strategies of rock legends to build your brand, expand your influence, and make more money. It arrives in stores May 20, but you can pre-order now by clicking here.

What a free chapter of this new book?

You can get an early start by downloading a free pdf files of chapter one by clicking here.

Rolling Stones, The Beatles 743 Comments

Give Your Customers More Of What They Want



Roger Waters, one of the founding members of Pink Floyd, just wrapped up a three year world tour performing the classic Floyd album The Wall.  The tour grossed a total of $458,000,000 and played in 219 stadiums around the globe.

Roger Waters is a 70 year-old man who hasn’t made a new album in 22 years (although he is apparently working on one now).

The Rolling Stones have only made four new albums in the past 25 years, and they’ve been around for 50. That means nearly everything they created happened in the first half of their career.

AC/DC has give us just three new albums in the last two decades.

The normally prolific U2, who created six albums in the 1980s alone, have churned out five in the past twenty years.

Fleetwood Mac, who toured extensively last year, haven’t recorded a new album since 2003 and have delivered only four new albums in the past thirty years.

What do Roger Waters, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, U2, and Fleetwood Mac know? After all, they are among the most successful live acts of our generation. They must be on to something.

They know what their fans want.

Give them the hits that they came to hear.

Your customers walk in your store, click on your website, or dial your number for a reason.

Don’t let them down by playing songs they don’t want to hear.

Develop a deep understanding of why they come to you, and carefully craft your offering so that you continue to serve that need.

Order the marketing book Brand Like a Rock Star: Lessons From Rock ‘n’ Roll To Make Your Business Rich and Famous with one click here. It will get you started on the path to put your business on a world tour!

AC/DC, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, Rolling Stones, U2 671 Comments

How To Make Your Business Remarkable


If you want to be remarked about (aka “word of mouth”) then you need to be remarkable.

You need to deserve to be remarked about.

Unfortunately, in business that is often equated with quality.

Some of the most remarkable moments in rock history had nothing at all to do with quality.

Queen played one of the greatest live shows in history at Live Aid, highlighted not by note-by-note perfection, but instead by the raw energy and stage presence of Freddie Mercury.

The Rolling Stones had one of YouTube’s most viewed videos recently, a video of the band playing “As Tears Go By” with Taylor Swift. Perfect? Not really. You can hear a few missed notes if you listen carefully.

If you are already great at what you do, being better probably won’t get you to remarkable status.

Being different will.

Surprising people will.

Doing ordinary work with extraordinary flair will.

Being intentionally unusual will.

But are you brave enough?

It’s easier to spend all of your time trying to get incrementally better than it is to become truly remarkable.

Queen, Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift 3,844 Comments

Customer Service Is Dead

The famous Rolling Stones logo (C) The Rolling Stones

The famous Rolling Stones logo (C) The Rolling Stones



We used to offer our customers “service”.

That’s over. If you’re still offering “service”, you’re just treading water.

Today’s customer demands and deserves more.

Winning brands today offer their customers an experience.

The Rolling Stones are on tour this summer, their 50th anniversary.  A friend who saw them two weeks ago in Chicago told me it was the best Stones show he had ever seen, and he’s been to thirteen of them!

Just going out on stage and playing the hits is customer service for The Rolling Stones.

But having fans leave the concert feeling like they have been a part of something unique and special is a true experience. That’s why 69 year-old Mick Jagger owns the stage like a 29 year-old. It’s why the band plays a set list full of hits, but strategically work in forgotten gems like “All Down The Line” from Exile on Main Street and “You Got The Silver” from Let It Bleed. Fans who left the United Center after that Stones show left an experience.

Service is for everyone. Experiences are uniquely mine.

Service is basic. Experiences are heightened.

Service is expected. Experiences are delightful.

Service is fine. Experiences are exceptional.

Service is accepted. Experiences are shared, tweeted, and discussed.

Customer service, as we have known it, is dead.

Long live the customer experience.




Rolling Stones, Uncategorized 1,503 Comments

Stones, Eagles, and Mac: Give Your Customers What They Want


This summer, the 3D version of Jurassic Park is coming out.

And the real-life dinosaurs are coming back to life as well.

Fleetwood Mac is on tour. The Rolling Stones just announced their dates. And The Eagles are criss-crossing North America once again.

You won’t be hearing many new songs – if any at all – at these shows. You’ll hear the hits. You better be careful with how many drinks you have, because it will be tough to find a song that you could use for a pee break.

All three of these legendary bands recognize what their customers want, and they deliver.

The Stones, celebrating 50 years together, have been a nostalgia act for 25 of those years. They recorded all but four of their albums in their first 25 years together. Once their fans demanded the old hits, the band wisely obliged. The last relevant new Stones album was 1989′s Steel Wheels. Okay… maybe the 1994 album Voodoo Lounge.

The Eagles haven’t made relevant new music since 1979 and The Long Run.

Fleetwood Mac hasn’t made relevant new music since 1987′s Tango In The Night.

So here are my questions for you:

Do you truly know and appreciate what your customers want from you?

Do you wake up every day with a commitment to deliver what they want?

Or do you fill up your concert with pee-breaks and songs your fans don’t really want to hear?

Steve Jobs claimed it was his mission at Apple to make customer’s hearts sing.

That’s a pretty good mission, and it is one that Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, and The Rolling Stones totally buy into.

Click here to order your paperback or Kindle version of Brand Like a Rock Star: Lessons From Rock ‘n’ Roll To Make Your Business Rich and Famous The book will take you backstage to reveal the core marketing strategies of rock legends, and show you have to make them work for your business right away. You’ll turn you customers into loyal fans.

PS – have you visited the Brand Like a Rock Star Facebook page? I would love to have you join and be part of the discussion.


Photo credit: Dinosaur image courtesy of stock.xchng user Totek

Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Rolling Stones 1,431 Comments

Beatles or Stones?

To this day, as the Rolling Stones rock into their 50th year and forty-three years after The Beatles broke up, the question remains.

The Beatles or The Stones?

You can like and appreciate both bands. But for most, either The Beatles were the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in history… or The Rolling Stones were the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in history.

You’re either a Beatles person, or you’re a Stones person.

That’s what makes the Rock Star business principles so cool.

Our favorite bands become a part of how we define ourselves.

Rock Star businesses use those some strategies to make their brands part of how we define ourselves.

Are you a Mac person or a PC person?

Are you an Xbox fan or a PS3 fan or a Wii fan?

Are you a Prius driver or a Jeep driver?

Fans of these brands define themselves, in part, by them. That’s immensely powerful.

Sadly, most businesses will never get there.

They are afraid of the consequences of choosing to rock. They are afraid some people won’t like them (which is true). They are afraid that they’ll piss some people off (which is accurate). They are afraid that they might fail and get laughed at (which is highly likely).

These days you don’t have an option. You need to be a Rock Star.

If you’re not, you are destined to become one of the bland, relatively invisible, always-struggling brands that overspends on advertising in order to achieve momentary awareness.

Good luck.

I’d rather rock. It is way more fun, and way more profitable.

Put the Rock Star business principles to work for your company and your personal brand. Click here to instantly order Brand Like A Rock Star and learn how legendary bands like U2, AC/DC, KISS, Lady Gaga, Jimmy Buffett, and the Grateful Dead put their stamp on the world, and start doing the same thing with your business. 


Rolling Stones, The Beatles 2,191 Comments

Change Like A Rock Star


So you think the pace of your industry changes fast?

Try being a rock star.

You write a great song. It’s four minutes long.

Now do it again, but different.

Now do it ten more times so that you have an album.

Now, as soon as your album is a hit, start working on a follow up.

While you do all of that, watch as tastes evolve and styles change. Watch as social media accelerates these changes. Watch as technology makes it possible for people to avoid paying for your album and that same technology makes it possible for far less talented artists than you to go viral.

When change hits your industry, you have two choices as I see it.

The obvious one is to adapt with the times. This is what nearly every expert says you need to do. Embrace the new technology! Change what you do to match the evolving tastes! Evolve or die!  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it is like KISS going disco with “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”. When it works, it is Apple evolving from a computer company into a technology company… or Old Spice changing from your grandfather’s cologne into your kid’s body wash. When it works, it is glorious and profitable.

The less-obvious choice is to intentionally avoid changing. Often not changing fails, and you appear out of touch with the times and irrelevant.  But consider The Rolling Stones. The Stones are celebrating 50 years together, yet they’ve only recorded four new albums in the past 25 years. That means that they made nearly every memorable piece of music in their first 25 years! Then, they decided not to change, and they became a very wealthy nostalgia act. When it works, it too is glorious and profitable.

Neither choice is right or wrong.

The only right thing to do is recognize the changes around you and formulate a conscious plan to deal with them.

It isn’t so much “Change, or die”… it is, more accurately, “Be aware of change, or die”.

Apple, KISS, Old Spice, Rolling Stones 2,050 Comments

Never Apologize For Your Brand Values


Today I heard a commercial on the radio for a “guy’s show”… a sort-of trade show centered around everything male. Picture a convention center filled with cars, boats, beer, sporting goods, scantily clad girls, and rock ‘n’ roll, and you get the idea.

Then came a part of the commercial that made me laugh – and not in a good way. It went something like “… and ladies, don’t think you’ll be bored! We’ve added a Christmas craft market just for you.”

Imagine the Rolling Stones playing a show, and announcing “Hey jazz fans, don’t think you’ll be bored. We’re gonna stop rockin’ and play a few Miles Davis numbers just for you.”

If you hope to someday establish brand clarity, never ever back down from the values you represent.

Don’t apologize for them.

Don’t compromise them.

Celebrate them!

Remember what happened when McDonald’s compromised their values and added pizza to the menu?

How about that time that Coke compromised their values and replaced the Coke formula with a new, sweeter version?

If you’re putting together a “guy show”, go the distance. Add more testosterone, and subtract everything else. Burn the Christmas craft fair to the ground, and stomp on the ashes.

Don’t waste any more time and money trying to attract people who are marginal to your brand. They aren’t likely to try you… and if they do, they aren’t likely to stay.

Focus all of your time and energy on doing what you do well.

Celebrate the values that you represent.

Stop apologizing and compromising. It’s annoying as hell and it is doing you no favors.

As Roy H. Williams wrote in The Wizard of Ads, “the risk of insult is the price of clarity”.

Insult means someone won’t like you. Clarity means that everyone will understands who you are and what you’re about.

You can’t have universal love and acceptance.  And if you try to, you’ll never establish brand clarity.

Click here to order your copy of Brand Like A Rock Star now and start building a stronger brand, one that will attract more fans and more profits.

Have you signed up for the webinar “The Marketing Genius of KISS” yet? It is coming up on Monday, December 3 and I will be joined by former KISS on-line marketing leader Michael Brandvold. You can sign up right now at this link.

Coke, McDonalds, Rolling Stones, Roy Williams 150 Comments

The Difference Between Customers and Fans: Part Two


Even as the economy slowly improves, business isn’t getting any easier. The consumer has more choices than ever, and when faced with so many choices every product starts to look the same. In that environment of confusion, they default to a buying decision on the one criteria they can easily understand… price.

That’s what customers do.

But fans are different. Fans are so engaged in your brand that the plethora of new choices doesn’t entice them, nor does the lure of saving a few bucks.

U2 fans didn’t skip the band’s 360-Tour last year and instead go see a cheaper cover band. U2 fans made the 360-Tour, conducted in a severely down economy, the most profitable concert tour in music history.

Bruce Springsteen managed to shatter numerous attendance records, including a crowd of 84,218 at Wrigley Field.

And when the Rolling Stones announce a full tour, you can bet that every show will sell out.

Yes, there are people who will skip the show because they can’t afford a $100+ ticket. But there will be 20,000 or 30,000 people in every city who will scrimp and save and somehow find the extra $100 so that they can see their favorite rock star live in concert.

Those people are fans. And your business needs more fans… and fewer customers.

Customers are shopping for the best price.

Fans are searching for the best experience.

Customers look at shopping like a sport and enjoy comparing prices and grinding people down.

Fans look at shopping like a chore and dread having to compare and grind.

Customers are looking for a salesperson so they can go home with their new bargain.

Fans prefer a friend they can trust to help them maximize their enjoyment.

Customers are loyal… until the store down the street offers a lower price. Then they’re gone.

Fans are engaged in a relationship, and their loyalty transcends a lower price down the street because they value the trust and honesty they’ve found in you.

If your business has customers, good for you. It’s a start. But watch your back. The moment your competitor has a sale, you’ll need to match him. It is a never-ending low-margin cycle. Lather, rinse, repeat. You can either settle into a life of price cutting, or you can begin to turn those customers into fans.

If your brand has fans, you’re rockin’. Give those fans everything you’ve got, like a sweaty and tired Springsteen playing a 3-hour show. Never stop pleasing and delighting your fans. Make it your personal mission to, in the words of Steve Jobs, “make their hearts sing”.

By studying the core strategies of rock stars like Bob Dylan, AC/DC, KISS, The Beatles, Lady Gaga, Eminem, and U2, you can learn how to build an army of dedicated fans instead of just a random collection of bargain-hungry customers. Click here to order Brand Like A Rock Star today and make it happen!


Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones, U2 3,145 Comments