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Brand it like Brooks

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Brand it like Brooks

Since starting a career in radio back in 1995, I am always fascinated by marketing strategies for various businesses.  I’ve witnessed a number of companies take off due in part to a tremendous business plan and compelling marketing campaigns on the radio, tv, in the digital space and other platforms.  Aside from radio, I love the marketing posters over the urinals in a men’s restroom – wicked genius, right?  Talk about a captivated audience.  Just imagine that revenue stream.  Sorry.

I read with curiosity recently about the possible sale of the NBA’s Houston Rockets.  The value of that franchise is rumored to be NORTH of 2 billion dollars.  The expert I heard on a podcast said that was because the Rockets did a great job of growing their brand beyond the borders of the USA to a little country called China because of the signing of a really popular athlete.  If you are under the age of 35, google Yao Ming.  The NBA product is much bigger in China because the Rockets took a leap of faith and signed a non-traditional athlete with a rather large potential fan base.

If you are building a business, please use radio.  It rocks.  Wise radio stations that truly understand what it takes to make compelling audio daily and treat listeners and commercial clients with the respect they deserve are a Yao Ming type safe bet.  The money you spend on radio with SMART stations will be a wise investment.  (Ok, I’ll end radio cheerleader soapbox here)

In addition to that bit of self-serving advice, follow the footsteps of an Oklahoma State alum…no, not T Boone Pickens, but if you have a truckload of money in oil – good for you.  You don’t need to read an article from a dorky radio guy in the Midwest.  You’ve already won the jackpot.

Instead, follow the template of an Oklahoma State Advertising grad from 1984.  You may have heard of him.  He’s the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year and is the #1 selling artist in US history with sales over 149,000,000 albums and counting.  He also happens to be playing a gig in Sioux Falls on August 26th.

Garth Brooks is arguably one of the biggest names (and brands) in the last 25 years.  Many industry insiders would put his name recognition and brand awareness in the category of Elvis, The Beatles, Beyonce, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.  The biggies, right?

So, what does Garth do?  He takes a page from the Houston Rockets.  He is simply not satisfied with his existing base of supporters, he is looking to add new customers that may not be aware of his work.   He wakes up (and sounds several cups of coffee into the day) at 7am and makes wake-up calls to radio stations in the host city of Sioux Falls and TWO in Sioux City, Iowa to chat up the morning deejays and remind potential customers, fans and advocates of his concert plans next month.

Take a listen to our interview with Garth.  Notice his enthusiasm for his product, authentic storytelling and references to 2 current artists that “get it” when it comes to creativity and not being afraid to “break the mold”.  My guess is those two artists named have a work ethic like Garth that is off the charts high.  I’m not telling you the artists Garth mentioned because I want you and my mother to listen to the clip.  Hey, we need the clicks!

Obviously, if you are a business owner, the product has to be top notch.  I believe we can safely say he is among the top performers in his field of choice.  It also helps if you hire the right people.  In the last week, I’ve talked to 3 reps from Garth to set up an interview, go over the on-sale info and how to direct our listeners for best ticket buying results…and get this, a call after our Garth interview to see how the interview went from a rep!  Garth’s camp wants to know if he did everything he could to make sure it went well.   Talk about customer satisfaction.  Additionally, Garth knows how to create the sizzle and make take home memories of those 5.5 million he entertained this YEAR on tour. Remember last week when he offered to buy a newlywed couple a honeymoon in Hawaii?  Or the time he stopped to acknowledge a funny sign a few weeks ago?  Like good radio stations, he understands what moves the needle.

This may all sound like it’s common practice in the concert biz, but it is not.  I’ve seen some artists roll into town, refuse all interview requests, call us “Sioux Falls” a NUMBER of times on stage and then seem disinterested to be there for a paying crowd of fans.  Not everyone brands it like Brooks.

Tony Michaels

KSUX Program Director / Tony and Candice Morning Show

KSUXTonyM on Twitter

 

If you are in a marketing class in college, please present this article and study the Garth process.  He obviously learned plenty about work ethic, treating customers well and developing a winning plan many in advertising would do well to emulate.