First, an update on the blog/book. I’ve had numerous people inquire about the slowdown in posts to Brand Like A Rock Star, and the reason is quite simple. I’m doing final touches on the book, and finding time to work on the book and the blog simultaneously is difficult. The good news is that things are progressing nicely on the book front and it looks like it will be published in September 2011.
A few days ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Scott Nickerson. Scott is the man responsible for the massive network of clubs worldwide known as “Parrotheads in Paradise”. The organization has raised millions of dollars for charities in each chapter’s community as well as global charity initiatives. They are an amazing model for how a brand can inspire more than just simple product loyalty.
Each year when Jimmy Buffett would play in Atlanta, Scott found himself recognizing the same faces at each show. Every year he would hang out with the same very cool Buffett fans, and then not see them for another 364 days. So instead of letting another year go by without seeing his friends, Scott organized an informal get-together of Jimmy Buffett fans and formed the first chapter of the “Parrotheads”. Today that group is a massive connection of people brought together by a common love of music and lifestyle, and the desire to do some good work in their community while having fun at the same time.
What makes the “Parrotheads in Paradise” story so cool is that Jimmy Buffett has nothing to do with the group. He has signed legal documents that makes it clear that he is not involved whatsover in their activities. His legal team has cooperated with the “Parrotheads in Paradise” group to allow them to use (and not use) certain trademarks of Jimmy’s, and Buffett himself has shown up at their annual meeting in Key West more than once.
Imagine having a network of literally millions of people, spreading the word about your brand in a positive and productive way… without you doing any work or spending any money? Incredible.
That’s why the Jimmy Buffett brand is able to support restaurants, casinos, hotels, clothing, housewares, footwear, radio, publishing, and a record label. All of this without any major hits on the radio, save for a late 70s top ten song called “Margaritaville”.
Jimmy’s role in all of this is brilliant. Keep being Jimmy. Don’t let us down. Sing the songs we love and write new ones we will love. Be consistent. Be real. Be uniquely you.
Great advice for any brand.
As I write this, Jimmy is in the hospital in Sydney, Australia in stable condition after a serious head injury. He apparently was unconscious for several minutes when he fell off the stage during his encore. On-site reports say he has a large cut on his head from when he hit a metal support beam as he fell. We wish Jimmy Buffett the very best in his recovery.
For Buffett fans, the book Brand Like A Rock Star will include a full chapter on business lessons learned from Jimmy and the Parrotheads experience.