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What can Marketers learn from The Boss?


ImageFor the first time I witnessed the sensational Bruce Springsteen (The Boss) in Sydney this week. To say that he left the audience in thunderous raptures is an understatement. His Wrecking Ball tour performance in Sydney was an absolute cracker. I have not been a big fan of The Boss but what I witnessed was good enough to convert even the greatest sceptic. As much as I know this was an extraordinary display of musical talent, it was also about marketing and delivering the Springsteen brand.

So, let me draw some parallels between Brand Marketing and Bruce Springsteen. Firstly The Boss delivered way beyond any expectation (I can testify to this as I was there). He delivered more entertainment than what he charged for (by many other concert standards). He went far beyond the notion of value for money. He had the most astounding emotional connection with his audience (his on stage persona had to be seen to be believed). And last but not least, he had oodles of passion for what he did and he demonstrated that in no small measure.

Bruce Springsteen transcended the boundaries of age, race, gender, and culture. And he knew his audience intimately. He demonstrated the principles of Brand Marketing very well. Firstly, He packaged the Marketing mix elements of this experience brilliantly. In connecting with the audience in a very intimate manner, he displayed emotive Branding at work. Consumers connect with brands at both a rational and an emotional level. While rational aspects of a brand are largely tied to tangible benefits of the brand, emotional aspects are tied to the non-tangible benefits. In forming Brand Attitudes, consumers are sub-consciously drawn to these emotional aspects of a brand. These emotive aspects form the backbone of the brand (attitude) and are largely influenced by 2 main pillars of branding.

1)      Brand Platform – This incorporates the Brand Values (Innovation that matters, Dedication to every clients success, Trust & responsibility – IBM), Brand Promise (The ultimate driving machine – BMW), Brand ambition (We will be recognized as the brand that makes personal contact the most important element in mobile communications – Ericsson), and Brand Personality (Creative, Innovative – Apple, Outlaw – Harley Davidson). A clear single minded articulation and delivery of these brand platform elements are quintessential to brand success.

2)      Brand Beliefs – Brand beliefs are shaped by positive Brand Attributes. For those who are academically inclined this can be expressed as a formulae (Ao=∑biei). The theory of Reasoned Action (Fishbein & Ajzen) suggests that beliefs are combined additively to form attitudes. The greater the number of favourable beliefs one holds, the more favourable ones attitude towards the brand. As organizations seek to exceed in their delivery of product/service attributes so can they expect an increase in the brand beliefs.

In keeping with good branding principles as mentioned above, over the past 40 years Bruce Springsteen has endured time, remained vibrant, energetic, and relevant, and re-launched himself in order to keep his personal brand on top of his fans hearts and minds worldwide.

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One Comment
  1. Good Article and very inspiring! Wish I was there to witness the Springsteen magic!

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