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 199 Comments

Generic Is Moronic (And Deadly)


I heard a commercial on the radio today. It went something like this:

If you’d like to see your child in a movie or TV show, call us now. A world-famous agent will be in your area this weekend for auditions.

Really? There are companies out there using this kind of generic crap and expecting it to work.

That’s like going to see your favorite rock star in concert in your hometown, and having them shout out things like “It’s great to be here” instead of “It’s great to be here in (your hometown).”

If your favorite rock star fails to mention the city he is playing in, it is for one of two reasons:

a) He doesn’t know.

b) He doesn’t care.

Not knowing is pretty bad, but not caring is even worse.

Pearl Jam played in Halifax, Nova Scotia back in 2005. In a now-legendary local moment, Eddie Vedder asked the audience if someone could pass him a Keith’s beer. That’s like being in Boston and asking for a Sam Adams. Eddie didn’t just say “How are you doing Halifax!” like most rock stars would. He went the extra distance and grabbed onto a powerful local touchstone. His fans ate it up. And he drank it up. You can watch the audience go crazy as Eddie opens his bottle of local brew here.

Meanwhile, this moronic talent agency can’t be bothered to customize their radio commercials for each city in which they air.

Would it be so difficult to cut versions for each city? Even if they were stopping in every major city in North America, it wouldn’t take a tremendous amount of work?

Couldn’t they mention who this “world famous” talent agent is? By being generic, they alert our bullshit detectors and make us doubt that this agent really is world-famous.

It doesn’t take that much work to understand who you are speaking to, and speak to them in a way that matters.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating. As Roy H. Williams said about branding, “talk to the dog in the language of the dog about something that matters to the dog.”

Don’t talk to anyone in generic language about something that may or may not matter to anyone.

Order Brand Like A Rock Star now and start learning how to build a better business and make more money using the marketing strategies of rock and roll legends like U2, AC/DC, Grateful Dead, Bob Marley, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Bob Dylan, and Jimmy Buffett.

The price of the Kindle edition has just come down to $5.99. Hard to resisit at that price, isn’t it? You could be reading it in less than five minutes.

Eddie Vedder, Keith's, Pearl Jam, Roy Williams 449 Comments

Talking To The Dog


Great songs often feel like they are speaking directly to you.

You can feel the pain of watching your ex move on when Adele cries “never mind, I’ll find somebody like you. I wish nothing but the best for you too”.

When Bob Seger sings “I was a little too tall, could’ve used a few pounds, you are once again trying to lose those awkward teenage blues and get to work on your night moves.

That’s what makes music magical, and it is a big part of what makes rock ‘n’ roll such a cool template for building a better business. Music speaks to you on a deeply personal level.

Advertising guru Roy H. Williams said it well when he said “Speak to the dog in the language of the dog about what is important to the dog.”

It’s a lesson from the Pavlov School of Marketing. When Pavlov talked to the dog he used meat. He spoke to the dog in a language that the dog understood about something very important to the dog.

Speak to the dog = Talk to your prospect, and nobody else. Nobody else matters.

In the language of the dog = Use the words, phrases, and intonations that your prospect uses, not the words and phrases that you use.

About what is important to the dog = Talk about what really matters to your prospect, not what matters to you.

Your marketing ain’t about you.

Your customers don’t use the same industry words and phrases you use.

Your customers don’t care about the things you care about.

If you want to make your customers react like Pavlov’s dogs did, you need to change your perspective and see the world from their viewpoint. You should also order Brand Like A Rock Star right now and start reading it in just minutes (digitally) or order it right to your home in paperback.


Adele, Bob Seger, Roy Williams 197 Comments

The Impact of Honesty


Do you have the guts to be honest and real with your customers?  Honesty connects, even when it isn’t 100% pretty.

A good friend of mine, Mike Kasun, shared a great blog post with me that illustrates the point. It is by guitarist Alex Skolnick, who writes of going to see Van Halen and being charmed – along with 13,999 other fans – by Diamond Dave telling the crowd “San Francisco, you guys are the best crowd of the whole tour!”

He was charmed only until his brother let him in on the secret. Dave said that every night, to every crowd, in every city. It was part of the show. Alex’s faith in Van Halen was shattered.

In the 80s, the music business, like the advertising business, was pretty much smoke-and-mirrors. It was driven by hype. Today, however, honesty trumps hype and smoke-and-mirrors are transparent

A few factors are at play.

First, we are part of a natural societal cycle that is taking us deeper into a civic-minded culture. More and more we are becoming concerned about the greater good, not just our own selfish benefit. Honesty and integrity are values that perfectly fit with this societal shift. (For more about this concept, read this piece. I am not affiliated with it in any way, so if you sign up I don’t earn a cent. However, we might meet in person because I plan to take the seminar.)

Second, our inate bullshit detectors have never been more alert. We are bombarded by so many messages every day that we naturally assume that we have developed a heightened sense for when things don’t seem above board. As such, our belief in traditional advertising claims has sunk to new lows. Our default setting is “doubt”.

And third, we live in a world where your every flaw can be exposed. Lie to a customer, and they’ll tell a thousand friends (on Facebook) and tweet it out to a million people (on Twitter) nearly instantly. Good luck building a long-term brand based on misleading people.

Businesses who take an honest approach tap into the civic cycle, earn a ”pass” from the BS filter, and put us in a position to say wonderful things about them to our friends.

Have a look at Marmite’s website. They don’t try disguise the fact that the majority of the population hates it. Instead, they celebrate it.

Check out what Buckley’s does. They can’t hide from the fact that their cough medicine is revolting but powerful. Their slogan actually says “it tastes awful”.

And read through the “disclosures and relationships” section of author and blogger Jason Falls’ website. I wouldn’t hesitate to click on anything on his site, because Jason is so absolutely up front and honest about his affiliations. Meanwhile, most websites hide their affiliations and attempt to sell you products they don’t believe in. I love how Jason offers full disclosure. I trust him, and you can’t easily place a dollar value on trust.

Is your business honest and forthright about who you are, what you stand for, and how you do business?

Are you brave enough to acknowledge the reality around you like Marmite and Buckley’s?

Or are you like an aging 80s hair band, screaming stupid cliches to people night after night, even when you don’t really mean it?

Join the Brand Like A Rock Star discussion on Facebook.

 Buy Brand Like A Rock Star now on Amazon.

Download chapter one of the book free before you buy.



Buckley's, Jason Falls, Marmite, Roy Williams 176 Comments

Why Your Marketing Doesn’t Work – Part Five: Unsubstantiated Hype

This is it… the fifth of a five-part Brand Like a Rock Star look at why your marketing doesn’t work.  Part one, part two, part three, and part four are all archived to read and share with other entrepreneurs or marketers.

Far too much marketing today is filled with cliches, boasts, and unsubstantiated claims. Hype is dead, but marketers cling to it every day.

Axl Rose learned the hard way. Guns ’N Roses started working on Chinese Democracy nearly 20 years ago. As production went on year after year, Axl defended the delays by bragging about just how incredible this album was going to be. As the budget went up and up, and it turned into the most expensive album ever made, Axl continued to boast about the legendary record he was making.

When Chinese Democracy finally came out in 2008, it was destined to fail. Expectations had been raised so high that the world saw through it, and decided en masse long in advance that the album sucked.

In reality, it got decent reviews. It wasn’t an awful album at all. But it will be remembered as a failure because at was backed with hype and BS.

Do you advertise that you have ”the highest quality at the lowest prices”?

Your customer thinks you are lying. And you are, because it is impossible to have both the very best quality and the very lowest prices. Everyone knows it. Fact of life. We are actually willing to pay more for good quality, but you are too caught up in your phony claims to realize it, so you stick to spewing out unsubstantiated hype… because that’s the advertising method you know.

If you are going to make wild claims in your ads, back the claims up with evidence. Lowest prices? Prove it. Highest quality? Show me.

Better yet, stop worrying about hype and focus on the customer experience. How does my life change when I use your product? What do I feel?  Apple aggressively marketed the iPad without hype. This video has been seen nearly 300,000 times in the week since it was first released, and it contains no hype at all… just valid claims.

These powerful ads for the iPhone4′s Facetime program don’t hype a thing. They sell an experience and an emotional connection between the customer and the product. Simple.

It takes guts to recognize that much of what you are saying in your advertising is being ignored, but the sooner you realize it the sooner you can move on and start to make your marketing really work.

When marketing works, it is magical. People really do react to smart marketing. The results rock. You’ll love it.

Finally, to drive home the anti-hype message here is an open letter to noisy advertisers from potential customers. This was an earlier post on Brand Like A Rock Star that received plenty of interest:

Dear advertiser:

I saw/heard/read your ad on the TV/radio/paper, and would like to remind you of a few things.

1. Stop bragging. You don’t have the best staff. Sure, you might have great people, and if you do please tell me why it matters to me and how it will benefit my customer experience. But don’t just tell me “our people make the difference”. I are pretty sure there are some bozos that work at your place, just like the ones that work with me.

2. If you have “lots of free parking”, it only matters if you are located in an area with no parking. Otherwise, it is just noise and hype and nobody cares. If your product is that amazing, I won’t get all worked up about dropping a few quarters in a meter.  I once paid $40 to park at Fenway because the Red Sox are THAT amazing.  Really, if “free parking” is going to make the difference, you aren’t that amazing.

3. Telling me that you “need to move 100 cars by the end of the month” means nothing. I don’t care about the pressure you might be under to sell cars. I don’t even believe you are actually under any real pressure, because every car dealer says the same BS every month. Noise. Ignored. Besides, I don’t walk into your dealership and scream “I need to make nine mortgage payments and put braces on my kid by December” and expect you to give a sh*t.

4. Yelling in your ads is stupid. I either turn the channel, change radio stations, or hit “forward” on the PVR. The only people who yell at me in real life are angry. Yelling doesn’t convey urgency, it conveys idiocy. Or intoxication.

5. The more you hype something up, the less likely I am to believe you. People who have to brag about how cool they are, usually aren’t. I’ve known that since high school, so why haven’t you figured it out yet?

The strangest part is that when you do take the time to connect with me on an emotional level, I stop avoiding your advertising and start to seek it out. Your marketing message stops being marketing and becomes valuable information. Isn’t that cool?

Your customer

PS – part of the inspiration for this series came from Roy H. Williams piece “12 Causes of Advertising Failure”, which is included in his book “The Wizard of Ads: Turning Words Into Magic and Dreamers Into Millionaires”. Smart marketers are into Roy’s stuff.

If you enjoyed this post and are passionate about music and business, please consider subscribing to Brand Like A Rock Star by email. I only publish once or twice a week on average and will never share your contact info. You can also subscribe by RSS feed using the button on the upper right portion of the page.
Apple, Axl Rose, Chinese Democracy, Guns N' Roses, ipad, iPhone, Roy Williams 167 Comments

Why Your Marketing Doesn’t Work – Part Four: You Are Too Damn Close To It

Welcome to part four of our Brand Like a Rock Star five part series about “Why Your Marketing Doesn’t Work”. If you missed any earlier entries, you can find them here (Part One), here (Part Two), and here (Part Three).

Here’s the cold, hard truth: you are too close to your product or brand, and it is hurting your marketing efforts.

Think about the greatest band of all time.
The Beatles had a man named George Martin behind the scenes every step of the way. As their producer, he filled the gaps between their obvious raw talent and the sound that they wanted to create. Martin’s arrangements adorn nearly every Beatles classic. He wrote the musical notation for the trumpet solo in “Penny Lane” based on Paul McCartney’s humming, and over Paul’s objections Martin added the string quartet to “Yesterday” and he scored the string sections on “Eleanor Rigby”. His sonic ear also influenced songs like “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “A Day In The Life”.

Could The Beatles have done this on their own?  Not a chance. They were too close to their own sound to see the bigger picture. Every artist needs an objective producer because every artist is too close to their own product. The same holds true in business, branding, and marketing. That’s why outside branding advice is so vital.

In business, having so much knowledge of your own product makes you, the business owner, entirely unqualified to see your brand objectively! It is impossible for you to see your brand the way your customers see it.

Rock star brands work with objective experts to help them see their product from the consumer’s point-of-view. They realize that they cannot possibly read the label when they are inside the bottle. Objective outsiders can help them understand how real people see, use, interact with, and experience their brand. That view point makes for extremely effective advertising.

Every great athlete has a coach who looks at his game from a different perspective. The coach is never nearly as good the athlete, but they have a point of view that it is impossible for the athlete himself to have.

Are you a brave enough rock star to put your product knowledge away, and let someone from outside the box have a look inside? Find your George Martin, and your marketing will get that much better.

PS – part of the inspiration for this series comes from Roy H. Williams piece “12 Causes of Advertising Failure”, which is included in his book “The Wizard of Ads: Turning Words Into Magic and Dreamers Into Millionaires”. Smart people read Roy’s stuff.

If you enjoyed this post and are passionate about music and business, please consider subscribing to Brand Like A Rock Star by email. I only publish once or twice a week on average and will never share your contact info. You can also subscribe by RSS feed using the button on the upper right portion of the page.
George Martin, Roy Williams, The Beatles 688 Comments

Why Your Marketing Doesn’t Work – Part Three: Trying To Reach More People Than Budget Allows

If you enjoyed this post and are passionate about music and business, please consider subscribing to Brand Like A Rock Star by email. I only publish once or twice a week on average and will never share your contact info. You can also subscribe by RSS feed using the button on the upper right portion of the page.

This is the third installment in our five-part examination of Why Your Marketing Doesn’t Work. If you missed part one, you can find it here. Part two is here. Feel free to share these pieces with entrepreneurs and business owners that might benefit from this perspective!


When building the career of Barenaked Ladies, all that then-manager Terry McBride had was a quirky band and limited resources. So his strategy was simple. He would book the band to play in the same cities, over and over again. They would play cities like Boston, Detroit, Seattle, Buffalo, and San Diego and then do it all over again. Every few months when they returned to a city, they attracted new fans on top of the ones they had already established. And each time they returned, they had to book a bigger venue to accommodate these new fans. They built relationships with radio, newspaper, and TV reporters in each city. Over time, they created substantial buzz in key large cities.

And that buzz led to more buzz, until their 1999 hit song “One Week” peaked at #1 on the esteemed Hot 100 chart in Billboard magazine.

That’s how McBride created rock stars out of Barenaked Ladies.

Most entrepreneurs and small businesses spread their advertising far too thin. Since their budgets are limited, they buy a little bit of radio (but not enough to make it work) and a little bit of newspaper (but not enough to make it work) and a little bit of TV (but not enough to make it work).

As a result, nothing works. The budget is gone, and there are no more customers than there were before the advertising kicked in.

Rock star brands use their limited budget to own something.

You could choose a specific radio station and own that station.  Or you could choose a specific time of day (late at night, weekends) when advertising is cheaper and own that.

You could buy more billboards than anyone else in your city, and own that.

Think differently. You don’t need to reach everyone. It is far wiser to reach 10% of the people and convince them 100% to buy from you rather than reach 100% of the population, but only convince them 10% of the way.

Coming Monday, part four of the series Why Your Marketing Doesn’t Work. We’ll look at how most businesses are way too close to their own products and brands. They make the mistake of thinking they are both knowledgable and objective. There is a reason that rock stars have producers, managers, and agents. Objectivity is impossible when you are inside the box.

PS – Roy Williams’ book The Wizard of Ads: Turning Words Into Magic and Dreamers Into Millionaires provided some of the inspiration for this series. In that book, Roy demonstrates the “12 Causes of Advertising Failure”. Well worth the read.

If you don’t already receive Brand Like a Rock Star by e-mail and you enjoyed the series “Why Your Marketing Doesn’t Work”, please consider subscribing to Brand Like A Rock Star by email.

Barenaked Ladies, Roy Williams, Terry McBride 214 Comments

Why Your Marketing Doesn’t Work – Part Two: Creatings Songs Instead of Anthems

This is part two of a five part series examining some of the reasons why you might not be getting the results you expect (and need, frankly) from your marketing. If you missed part one, you can find it here. And please feel free to forward this piece to other entrepreneurs or business owners that you think would benefit from it.

In the music business, the songs promoted and heard most often on the radio are hand-picked by the record label or artist for a reason. They are the songs they feel will best build their image. A rock star’s image, or brand, is a carefully manicured craft. It isn’t haphazard or random. Nearly every step along the way is calculated, well-planned, and intentional. Each talk show appearance, video, concert, autograph session, and backstage party is a piece in a much greater puzzle.
Unfortunately, most businesses fail to see their marketing in that same light. They run ads on the radio, in the paper, and on TV.  They use the ads to promote their location, their price points, their products, and their excellent and helpful staff. And the result? They are left wondering why nobody is responding to their ads.
Ads don’t build brands. Campaigns build brands.

Great advertising is intentional. Each ad is part of a greater campaign with a very specific goal. Just as each song contributes to the rock star’s image, each ad should contribute to your brand in a very specific way.

If you have ten great things to tell people about your business, you need ten great ads in your campaign. Each one should tell a story, and each story should contribute in a meaningful way to building your brand.

Think about the Mac vs. PC ads that Apple created. Each ad profiled a different competitive advantage that Apple felt they had over Microsoft. The video below (click here if it doesn’t show up in your browser) contains all of the ads in that campaign. One is about the power cord, another about the lack of viruses, and others touch on creativity, editing, and networking. Each singular ad contributes in its own unique way to the greater campaign and its goal of building up the Mac brand.

When you treat your marketing like you are building a rock star’s career, soon you will find yourself building a real brand instead of just another business.

Coming Friday… in part three we look at marketing that fails because a business tries to reach more people than their budget will allow. There is a reason that rock stars play concerts in certain cities at certain times. They know that they can only reach so many people effectively, so they attempt to reach the right people. Everyone has a budget. Rock star brands simply know how to use it.

PS – Roy Williams’ book The Wizard of Ads: Turning Words Into Magic and Dreamers Into Millionaires” provided some of the inspiration for this series. In that book, Roy demonstrates the “12 Causes of Advertising Failure”. Well worth the read.

If you enjoy the series “Why Your Marketing Doesn’t Work”, please consider subscribing to Brand Like A Rock Star by email. I only publish once or twice a week on average and will never share your contact info. You can also subscribe by RSS feed using the button on the upper right portion of the page.

Apple, Roy Williams 109 Comments

Why Your Marketing Doesn’t Work – Part One: The Overnight Sensation

Welcome to the first of a five part Brand Like a Rock Star look at why your marketing isn’t working. If you find it interesting, please consider subscribing by e-mail. And please forward this on to entrepreneurs, small business owners, and other who you think might benefit.

So many rock stars seemingly come out of nowhere to emerge as the next-big-thing. We call them “overnight sensations” because it feels like one day we had no idea who they were, and the next day we were all declaring our love for them.

Kings of Leonappeared nearly overnight in early 2009 with the song everybody was singing along to, “Use Somebody”.

Like most overnight sensations, Kings of Leon were anything but. The band had been together nearly a decade when they recorded “Use Somebody“, and for much of that decade they were extremely popular in the UK and Australia. They had spent a decade touring, recording, honing their skills, and developing a passioante fanbase in Europe and down under. The “overnight” success was 10 years in the making.
Expecting immediate results from your marketing is as unrealistic as expecting your Friday night karaoke version of “Born To Run” to magically turn you into Bruce Springsteen.
Rock stars become rock stars thanks to years of effort. They tour relentlessly (think of that as advertising) and create amazing music (that’s the product) that we all want to hear. They do remarkable things (that’s your buzz and word of mouth) that get people talking about them. They create a passionate fan base (social media) that never stops growing.
You can get overnight results from your marketing. Place a coupon on Groupon. You’ll probably see immediate results. But you’ll probably not make a dime from it, and there’s a very good chance you’ll never see those customers again. Any offer compelling enough to grab people’s attention immediately is just as likely to be forgotten as soon as the offer expires.  Any star that rises from out of nowhere overnight is probably going to fall back to earth just as quickly.  Below are three painful examples to the support the perils of trying to be a true overnight sensation.
Exhibit A – Right Said Fred / I’m Too Sexy
Exhibit B – Macarena / Los Del Rio
Don’t expect instant gratification from your marketing. Building a smart and solid brand takes time. Instead, expect slow and steady growth. Expect to turn every customer who walks in into a raving fan. Expect to deliver an incredible experience for each and every customer. Expect it to be a lot of hard work with a tremendous reward at the end of it.
Building an enduring brand is a marathon race, not a sprint.
On Wednesday, part two of “Why Your Marketing Doesn’t Work”… creating ads instead of campaigns. Or in the case of rock stars, creating songs instead of anthems.
PS – part of the inspiration for this post is from Roy H. Williams piece “12 Causes of Advertising Failure”, which is included in his book “The Wizard of Ads: Turning Words Into Magic and Dreamers Into Millionaires”. Smart people read Roy’s stuff.
If you enjoyed this post and are passionate about music and business, please consider subscribing to Brand Like A Rock Star by email. I only publish once or twice a week on average and will never share your contact info. You can also subscribe by RSS feed using the button on the upper right portion of the page.
Bruce Springsteen, Kings of Leon, Roy Williams, Ted Williams 231 Comments

Emimem and Your Brand: The Age of Honesty


He was written off by most of the music industry.  But in 2010, Eminem came back in a major way.

After establishing himself at the top of the hip-hop heap with music that tapped into the psyche of the day, Eminem seemed to miss a turn on the pop culture highway.  His earlier work relied on skits (“My Band”, “The Real Slim Shady”, “Without Me”) and shock (“Cleaning Out My Closet”).  While those songs fit in well with the cultural tone a decade ago, it sounds blatantly out of place today.

Eminem peaked with two albums that sold nearly 40 million copies.  The Marshall Mathers LP in 2000 and The Eminem Show in 2002 both sold 19 million copies worldwide.  Sales fell off sharply for 2004′s Encore with 11 million sold, and then plummeted in 2009 as Relapse moved a mere 3 million units.

The comeback began with Eminem making successful guest appearances on two massive hit songs from 2009, “Airplanes” by B.o.B. featuring Hayley Williams and “Love The Way You Lie” by Rihanna.  Those two songs brought Eminem back to the forefront, setting the table for the release of Recovery in 2010.

Recovery shows off a new, honest, and more real Eminem, with songs about insecurity, fear, and love.  The songs have a human quality that fans have embraced in today’s age of honesty.  Thanks to Recovery, Eminem led the industry in 2010. In July of 2011, Recovery became the first album to surpass 1 million (legal and paid) downloads.

The world is definitely different now than it was in 2000 when Marshall made his mark.

We are more connected than ever before.  Social media has made more, well, social.  Celebrities are more exposed than ever before, finding it difficult to hide behind their fame.  We indeed are living in an age of honesty.

Roy Williams created a powerful presentation called “The 40 Year Pendulum” that illustrates how North American culture shifts from idealist values (self) to civic values (community).  This shift has happened, over and over, with stunning regularity, every 40 years.  According to Roy, we are heading into the peak of a civic cycle.  Instead of James Bond, we celebrate Jason Bourne.  Instead of going to see Wall Street we go to see The Inconvenient Truth.

Based on the 40 year pendulum concept, it makes sense that Eminem’s early music would come across as self-important and bloated in today’s environment.  It makes total sense that his comeback music is more honest, real, and connected than his previous work.

How can your brand learn from Eminem and the 40-year pendulum?

You are part of a generation that rejects hype and embraces honesty.

You no longer need to get it done alone.  We can accomplish greatness as a community.

Scripted stuff is passe.  Today we want to watch reality unfold before us.

Selling your crap to me won’t work.  Sharing your vision with me will.  It is about what you stand for, not what you sell.

If you stop and pay attention to the cultural shift going on around you, your brand stands to benefit.  If you listen to the changes, you might find yourself like Eminem, once again on a tremendous wave of success.

The honesty that drove Eminem’s comeback is the central tenent of Chapter Nineteen of Brand Like a Rock Star.  You can pre-order your copy here, and then download Chapter One here for free so that you can get started reading right away.

And if you’d like to discover more about the 40-Year Pendulum, you can read Steve Jackson’s impressions of Roy Williams “40 Year Pendulum” here.  Roy’s 2008 posting about the pendulum is an interesting one, and well worth exploring. It will also become a book in 2012.

Eminem, James Bond, Jason Bourne, Roy Williams 163 Comments