The Rolling Stones are back. Their new song “Doom and Gloom” was released today, and the new album Grrr is coming soon.
It is great to have new Stones music to enjoy, but there is a brand risk involved for the band.
The Rolling Stones aren’t a new music brand. They are a nostalgia brand.
In the second half of their career, they’ve only recorded five new albums. Hardly prolific.
The first twenty five years gave us famous songs like “Satisfaction”, “Honky Tonk Women”, “Sympathy For The Devil”, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, “Paint It Black”, “Get Off My Cloud”, “Brown Sugar”, “Start Me Up”, “Waiting On A Friend”, “Miss You”, and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”.
The second twenty five years gave us forgotten songs like “Streets of Love”, “Rough Justice”, “Anybody Seen My Baby?”, “Saint Of Me”, and “Rain Fall Down”.
The last really big (in terms of music charts) new Rolling Stones song? Probably 1994′s “Love Is Strong” from the Voodoo Lounge album.
The Rolling Stones know that new music isn’t their brand.
They didn’t record “Doom and Gloom” in order to add to their massive catalog of great music. “Doom and Gloom” and the new album Grrr exist in order to heighten awareness about the band and raise excitement heading into their soon-to-be-announced world tour. The new music serves as a social talking point, a social object as Hugh McLeod would say, that will help sell concert tickets.
The song will help promote the new documentary Crossfire Hurricane that comes out this month. It looks very cool.
When their tour begins, don’t go expecting to hear many songs from the new album. Don’t expect to hear much music from the past 25 years. The Stones will play the hits, giving you exactly what you came for.
In day to day business, there are a few immediately applicable business lessons.
1. Know what your brand stands for in the minds of your fans. You are what they think you are.
2. Create social objects to get people talking about your brand. You can’t be remarkable without giving your customers something to remark on.
3. Deliver to your fans exactly what they expect from you. There’s a reason they love you. Live up to it.
Here’s an earlier piece I wrote on how business can learn from the Rolling Stones. And while you’re at it, click here to quickly order Brand Like A Rock Star and start learning how to build a better brand and more profitable business from the legends of rock. According to rock stars like Gene Simmons and Alice Cooper, it is worth picking up.
Here’s the new Rolling Stones song “Doom and Gloom”. I think it is pretty damn good. What do you think?