Marc Davison, who is a very smart guy, has a post up on how to kick ass.
True rock stars bring something different to the table. It’s why they rise to the top and stay there. They have a their own look. Their own special feel. It’s that difference that cut Zeppelin apart from Sabbath. And Deep Purple apart from Cream.
It’s the same in business. Rock star brands set themselves apart. Their look, their feel, their products, message, and service are all carved from that same sense and position. It’s what sets Apple apart and sends its sales soaring.
Then there are the clone bands. The ones that copy someone’s else’s look, sound and feel. Like Badfinger. Like every hip-hop act since Tupac.
Tell me that our industry isn’t filled with clone bands. Each copying the other. Same yard sign. Same newspaper ad. Same website. Same consumer proposition. Their lead singer agents? Mostly glam, no gravitas. Their lead guitarists? More suited for the campfire than the big stage.
And I get what he’s saying. I just don’t get why he’s saying it.
This is one of those marketing insights I truly don’t get. Why?
Because rock stars aren’t creatures of marketing, that’s why. They’re creative forces beyond any record company’s ability to manipulate. They just rock. It’s who they are. It’s what they do. You try to “manage” rock stars, and they punch you in the face, piss on your desk, and tell you to fuck off.
You can’t make a rock star like Led Zeppelin anymore than you can make a Van Gogh.
So why would a marketer — especially one whose business is presumably advising clients how to improve their marketing — talk about being a rock star? If they’re already business rock stars, what the heck do they need you for? If they’re not a rock star, no amount of effort on your part can make them a rock star, can it?
You don’t need to be a genius, or be born with rock star charisma. Just let me do my magic, and I’ll get you to #1 on the Pop Charts, baby. You’ll never be Led Zeppelin, but you can make a ton of money being better-than-mediocre. And marketing is the difference.
There’s a lot more opportunity in helping the mediocre become sorta good, than helping rock stars become what they already are without you.
Then again, maybe I just don’t get it.