Merry F*cking Christmas From Lady Gaga


I’ve always been a major advocate of the concept that “different beats better”. From the time I first read Ries and Trout’s Positioning, the idea that unique brands beat better brands has resonated with me. In the book Brand Like A Rock Star I hold up KISS, Bob Dylan, and Lady Gaga as examples of rock stars that prove this to be true.

And Lady Gaga hasn’t let me down yet.

Her new song is a Christmas gift to her fans called “Stuck On F*cking You”. It is an acoustic bluesy song recorded on her tour bus that exudes raw sexuality. Instead of a thumping drum beat that you’d hear in a dance club, the song delivers a stripped down sound that you would more expect to hear in a smoky blues bar. You can listen to it at the bottom of this post, but be careful because it isn’t safe for work or for young ears!

Once again, Lady Gaga is dramatically different. She constantly surprises us. She always gets noticed.

Sure, you can hate Lady Gaga. You can love Lady Gaga.

Abou the only thing you can do is ignore Lady Gaga. Impossible.

Is your brand impossible to ignore? Unless it is impossible to ignore, you can bet that 99% of the world is ignoring it right now.

Brand Like A Rock Star can help you get your brand noticed, especially in Chapter Five (creating an experience), Chapter Eight (building a brand people will hate), and Chapter Sixteen (focus on being different instead of being better). You can buy it with one click right now in paperback or digital download.


Bob Dylan, KISS, Lady GaGa, Uncategorized 386 Comments

Five Personal Branding Lessons From Bono


Is there a stronger personal brand in rock ‘n’ roll than Bono? Here are five personal branding lessons you can learn from U2′s legendary lead singer.

1. Have A Memorable Name – Bono is way more memorable than Paul Hewson. Bono is a name that makes you pay attention and forces you to wonder what it means. Do you have a name people remember? Does your business have a name that opens the door for more conversation?

2. Do What You’re Great At, And Drop Everything Else - When the U2 started out, Bono played guitar. Except, as he admits, he couldn’t play very well. Bono discovered his calling wasn’t playing guitar, but singing and writing songs. To make your personal brand rock, you need to be open to the idea that you’re true calling might not be what you think it is. Discover what you do exceptionally well, and quit doing everything else that you are mediocre at. Doing things you aren’t exceptional at is a waste of your time and energy.

3. Find Cool People To Work With – For Bono, that has meant working with Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Green Day, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, and many others. Your personal brand is heavily influenced by the company you keep. Find exciting and dynamic partners to help move your ideas forward. Use these people to challenge your ways of thinking and open your mind to new ideas.

4. Go Outside Your Comfort Zone - Bono has personally invested in Forbes Media Grojup in the US and the Clarence Hotel in Dublin. He’s also a 1.5% shareholder in Facebook, with his investment valued at more than 500 million British Pounds. Strong personal brands aren’t confined to their own little world. They spread their ideas around and get involved in projects that capture their interest.

5. Do Good Work – More than any other rock star, Bono has worked tirelessly on behalf of social issues. His humanitarian work is legendary, doing exceptional work for AIDS research, Amnesty International, and world hunger. Rock stars of all walks of life give back. Find causes close to your heart, and work hard on their behalf. Leverage your success in their favor.

Do you have a copy of Brand Like A Rock Star yet? Order one now and have it delivered right to your home or office, or download the Kindle version in mere seconds.

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Five Branding Lessons From Lemmy

You can order Brand Like A Rock Star in time for Christmas delivery right here. It makes a great gift for the person on your list who works in any type of business and loves music.

The temptation is always there to extend a successful brand.

McDonald’s unwisely made pizza for a few years. Coors wasted millions trying to launch bottled water. Recently the boys in the band Hanson (remember “MmmBop” from the late 90s?) announced a new beer with their name on it. Really?

When can a brand be successfully extended? When is to profitable and smart to put your brand’s name on a new product?

For the answer, we turn to underground rock legend Lemmy.

Lemmy is a notorious drinker, claiming to have downed a bottle of Jack Daniels every day since he turned 30. He is rumored to have slept with nearly 2,000 women. His drug use is well-documented. He has a controversial hobby collecting Nazi memorabilia. And despite a lack of actual hit songs, Lemmy and his band Motorhead have established themselves as heavy metal icons over the course of nearly 40 years together.

Lemmy knows exactly what his brand stands for. When a Swedish reporter asked him how his band might sound in ten years, he answered “the same, but louder.” He totally gets it.

This week Motorhead revealed a new line of vodka, a move that clearly shows how Lemmy understands the power of branding and the secret sauce of successful brand extension.

What can your business learn from Lemmy?

1. If you’re going to put your name on another product, make sure it matches the brand values of your existing product. Alcohol and Lemmy go together brilliantly.

2. Make sure everything you do reinforces your brand values.  Branding is a 360 degree process.

3. You don’t have to please everyone in order to be rich and famous. Lots of people hate Lemmy and Motorhead.

4. Be different. Don’t stress yourself about being better. If you don’t believe me, ask KISS.

5.  Even ugly guys can get action from the girls if they carry a guitar. See also: Ric Ocasek.

And thanks to Fernando at Brands Like Bands for sharing the news about Lemmy’s vodka with me!


Coors Light, McDonalds 1,418 Comments

Get Your Brand In Shape For 2012

Everyone looks at the New Year as a “restart” and a chance to quit old bad habits and to get  a fresh start on healthy new ones. That applies not only to our personal lives, but equally to our businesses. No matter what business you are in, a New Year means a new start with exciting ideas and unlimited opportunities.

With that in mind I’d like to offer you a chance to tap into the Brand Like A Rock Star marketing and branding methods to get your year off to an incredible and inspired start.

Simply visit the Facebook page at, click “Like” and answer this simple question:

“What does being a “rock star” brand mean to you?”


Is it fame and fortune? Is it screaming groupies? Is it the artistic freedom to create what you are inspired to create? Maybe your “rock star” brand is one that moves people emotionally. Maybe it inspires them to be better.  Maybe your “rock star” brand is all about sales figures. You tell me. There are no wrong answers!

Through three winners will be selected.

First prize consists of three signed and personalized copies of Brand Like A Rock Star for you and those on your team, along with two 30 minute personal consulting sessions to discuss how to make your brand rock in 2012.

 Second prize is a signed and personalized copy of Brand Like A Rock Star as well as one 30 minute personal consulting session to discuss how to make your brand rock in 2012.

And third prize is a signed and personalized copy of Brand Like A Rock Star.

The consulting sessions will be done by phone or Skype and scheduled at a time of mutual convenience sometime before March 31, 2012.

It’s that simple. Please feel free to share this contest with friends and colleagues who might benefit from the message of Brand Like A Rock Star!

I look forward to hearing from you and finding out exactly what being a “rock star” brand really means to you!


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Five Ways To Be A Rock Star In 2012


Don’t forget to join the discussion on the Brand Like A Rock Star Facebook group at and if you don’t like to pay for books, you might even want to ”like” this unusual Facebook group as well

So the final month of 2011 is upon us, and inevitably thoughts turn to what you can do better next year in your business.

Rock stars are just like entrepreneurs. They start out with nothing but an idea in their head, and turn it into something millions of us fall passionately in love with. So why not take a page from rock ‘n’ roll when you think about how to build your business in the coming year?  Here are five simple rock star steps that you can apply to your business in order to make 2012 rock.

1. Work with people you love. Don’t surround yourself with people who will smother your creativity. Instead, audition members of your band carefully and choose the ones you want to spend much of your life with. In business this means freeing yourself from the people or circumstances that stifle you. Great business ideas are ignited from passion, and you can’t have burning passion if the people around you are always pouring water on your kick-ass big dreams.

2. Play a lot. Whether practicing or in concert, never pass up a chance to play your music. You’ll get better at what you do and you’ll build a fan base person by person. In business, the same wisdom applies. Never miss a chance to tell your story, spread your word, and share your product. That non-stop work will build fans, and fans will build word-of-mouth.

3. Measure your results. It is pretty easy to see how many people showed up for your concert. Soundscan tracks how many CDs you sold. Smart bands track their success and understand what is connecting with their fans.  Rock stars have people to look after this for them, so don’ t be afraid to do the same thing. If you can’t keep track of numbers, hire someone. But the worst thing you can do for your business is fail to measure results. You don’t win games if you don’t keep score.

4. Do it again. When you hit on something that works, don’t be afraid to do it again. Ask AC/DC or Nickelback. When you find fans who love the songs you sing, sing more songs just like that.  For business, this means developing an understanding about what your customers expect from you. Talk to them. Observe them. Interact with them. Find out what they love about you, and give it to them time and time again.

5. Feed the fire. The Grateful Dead gave away bootlegs of their music in order to bring in new fans. What is your business doing in order to feed the passion that your customers have for you? When you give back to your fans – be it in products or time or simply conversation, you create a stronger bond and start to build customers for life. The cost of getting more out of a current customer is far less than the cost of acquiring new customers, so work the numbers in your favor and feed the fire.

And one more self-serving bonus tip…

6. Purchase the book Brand Like A Rock Star. It is the only business book endorsed by Gene Simmons and Alice Cooper. It will take you right to the core marketing strategies of rock’s legends, and show you how to put them to use in your business right away. You can order it with one click here and read it in paperback or Kindle.

Don’t miss the Brand Like A Rock Star marketing seminar in Grand Cayman on Friday, 16 December at Vivendi Cabaret in The Strand. Tickets are free, but they are in limited numbers and are going quickly. You can reserve yours here. I’m looking forward to spending some time with Cayman’s brighest marketing and branding minds, and taking a break from the hard life of scuba diving and beaching.


Uncategorized 1,343 Comments