Filling huge stadiums and selling out concerts in a few minutes has become the standard for a lot of celebs to measure their success. Headlining a major festival is without a doubt a major milestone for any ambitious music artist. But…
Most bands and celebs believe in a carefully concocted balancing act between mega-concerts and small venues. Small venues are perfect to create a feeling of exclusivity, to ‘premium’ise what could otherwise be regarded as superficial mass consumption and to try out new things and keep experimenting with new material. It is also the perfect habitat for artists to keep a close connection with the most motivated fans who literally go the extra mile for these concerts. It is catering to the queen bees, in a way… the beehive will follow anyway.
Nowadays it is often the smaller concerts that create the bigger buzz! Some examples:
MTV’s unplugged series is a great example of how ‘mass intimacy’ has been created since 1989. The concept was simple: unplug the power chords of the world’s most favorite bands and artists, let them create an intimate and revised set list of their biggest hits and set up an artisan-like atmosphere in a studio where only a few hundred people can join the live performance. Oh, and then release and air this unique and intimate recording to the masses, of course 🙂 Small to Big. Or Exclusive to Mega.
Take Prince, a large part of his live reputation is based on his after-shows rather than his sold-out regular concerts. Typically secretly organized on the same day of the mega-concerts in a local nightclub, these improvised performances are legendary and often create more post-concert buzz than the mega-concerts themselves with fans worldwide connecting and following the hashtags of where the Prince party will be. Queuing outside the location for hours in the pouring rain is part of the story and experience.
So, what can Brands learn from Bands?
Brands tend to stare too much at the stars rather than to keep both feet on the ground and learn from what’s close. And with that brands lose touch with their personality. It is of course of paramount importance for brands and companies to keep growing and to be big and bigger because yes, size matters, but it’s just as important to keep trying out new things and experiment directly with the biggest fans and users of your products and services in smaller environments. Small sizes matter too. The bigger you are, the more mainstream you become and the less people will perceive you as premium. Sometimes you just grow by taking the right small steps.
Heineken’s concept club of the future is a great example: the concept club was the result of a year-long journey of consumers and up-and-coming designers from 4 continents who co-created a visionary Heineken pop-up club, launched during Milan Design Week 2012 on April 17th. The night club itself was visited by a ‘limited’ total of 13,000 people, but a spectacular 3mio people tuned in on Vice TV’s coverage and an additional 600,000 people were reached through premium magazine wallpapers. All earned, no pay.
So keep it small and make it exclusive once in a while. Be big and mainstream but try and do small local stuff for the lucky few too. Boost your talkability by mass-communicating about these small-scale events and marketing actions. Don’t hide it. Show it. Share it. Fix, Upgrade it. You’ll find yourself earning a lot more media than you are paying for. Think about your balancing act between big and small, or better: mega and exclusive.
Hot tweetaway: Find your balance between big and small, mega and exclusive insit.es/X6oVo1 by @HakimZemni via @CoolBrands #bandsnbrands #coolbrands
The question we are trying to address in this #bandsnbrands series is simple, really: What can marketing learn from celebrity marketing? Tune in on these celebrity-inspired tips, tricks & ideas and discover what brands can learn from bands!