Last Sunday’s 50th anniversary observance of the Beatles’ arrival in America evoked a lot of memories for people of my generation and older, all of which made me smile. Admittedly, some are a bit muddled, and I might not know all the words to the songs (does anybody?) but I certainly remember the melodies and the choruses of many of them. In watching all the hoopla, however, it struck me me that a phenomenon like the Beatles doesn’t come around very often.
It wasn’t just that they were talented musicians and songwriters – that can be said of many artists who achieve nowhere near their level of continued acclaim. It’s also that they weren’t afraid to challenge the status quo, create their own record label, try new and breakthrough approaches to popular music, and to constantly reinvent themselves (which, by the way, was what also distinguished that other trans-generational icon, Bob Dylan.).
In essence, the kind of supersonic recognition the Fab Four managed to achieve is what just about every brand on the planet would like to emulate.
If you had the opportunity to create a brand as venerated and sustainable as the Beatles, where would you start? What kind of strategic approach would you take — for example, at what point would you begin pitching the equivalent of The Ed Sullivan Show (even if, like the Beatles, you were initially unfamiliar with it)? How would you orchestrate and manipulate today’s social media (which didn’t even exist when John, Paul, George and Ringo burst on the scene)? What could you do to make your particular product line or service not only relevant, but idolized, adored even?
Listen — do you want to know a secret? I don’t think you can plan and strategize to build a brand that becomes as lionized as the Beatles. But what you can do is use their success as a source of inspiration. If you can provide your audience or customer base with an incredible product, do it with a sense of fun and enthusiasm, make it easy for them to interact with you, keep your offerings always authentic, fresh and new, and make them readily accessible so that people see them here, there and everywhere – well, just maybe it will all come together and people will say, “I want to hold your brand.”
Making that happen, of course may prove to be a long and winding road — but one that will eventually lead them to your door if you remember that all you need is love for your company and its products. And perhaps, a little help from your friends along the way.