This is fitting, since both the USA and Canada celebrate their independence this week. Yesterday was Canada Day, and Thursday is Independence Day.
You’ve heard the national anthem play a thousand times. Or more.
Yet every time you hear it, you pay attention. You stand tall. You remove your hat.
Some singers create anthems. Anthems force you to pay attention, and when you hear them years later you pay attention again. Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, The Foo Fighters, Elton John, and Pearl Jam sing anthems. They create powerful pieces of music about things they really care about, and those songs connect with people on that powerful personal level.
Other singers create songs. Songs live in the moment, and they are fun to sing along to before they fade away into history. One Direction, Britney Spears, Fergie, and Robin Thicke create songs. We love them, we dance to them, we sing along to them, and when we’ve heard them enough we put them away and forget about them.
Does your business create songs or anthems?
There isn’t a right way or wrong way, but you have to choose one or the other.
You can create powerful movements about things that matter deeply to you. You can pour your heart into it, sharing your passion with others in your tribe. Your tribe might not be massive, but they will pay a premium for the special experience you provide. You’ll be making friends and fans for life if you speak to people’s hearts this way.
Or you can create consumables that come and go, serve a fun purpose in the moment, and get replaced by new fads relatively quickly. You might attract a larger customer base in the short term, but they’ll leave as soon as a shiny new thing comes along. And you’ll have to work on volume, because nobody is paying a premium for things that don’t last.
Like I said, there are plenty of cases to be made on both sides of the songs vs. anthems argument.
Just make sure you know which side you fall on, because your entire business strategy depends on it.