Brand Specialists: A Business Lesson From Clarence Clemons


The “big man” is fighting for his life this week. Clarence Clemons, the revered saxaphone player from Springsteen’s E Street Band, is battling back from a stroke, and the entire rock & roll world wishes Clarence the best.

Clarence Clemons isn’t a household name.  He’s a saxaphone player… a role player… a niche player… an expert.  Clarence Clemons is a specialist in a small niche.

Great brands are almost always specialists.

Rock star brands establish an area of expertise and become absolute experts in that niche, to the point that nobody can even compete with them.

Rolex specializes in luxury watches. They don’t make $100 watches.

Quagmire Golf specializes in edgy golf clothing.  They don’t make business clothes.

Even big department stores like Walmart and Target specialize. Walmart specializes in the lowest prices. Target specializes in affordable style.

Clarence Clemons is one of rock & roll’s great specialists. When Lady Gaga wanted someone to play sax on her new album Born This Way, she called Clarence.  Nobody wails on a saxaphone like Clarence Clemons. Get well soon Big Man.

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