Ok, let’s get this out of the way right off the bat.
Everyone deserves a mulligan, especially when you dump waste in a river – but humans are a forgiving breed, aren’t we?
I mean, while we hazily remember the “oops!” escapade, we’re more than enamored by the sheer awesomeness of the Dave Matthews Band.
At least I am.
And to take that a step further, I have to admit that David John Matthews and his cohorts have taught me a thing or two about business. Yes, I said business.
The same guy who is worshipped in college towns for his music and harmonica playing has motivated me and my business in ways that gurus such as Zig Ziglar failed to do.
You’ve got to be kidding me, right?
No way Jose – this post is as serious as it comes, and I want to show you how a guy known for his music changed the way I think about my business.
With that said, here’s the Dave Matthews Band jam session on building your brand.
Rule #1 – It’s Ok to be Named After Yourself
This might rub you as “Professor Wow, master of the obvious” – but hear me when I say that at times it’s not always the best business decision to brand yourself… well, as yourself.
I don’t know of many people who would drink Brian Gardner beer.
However, when you’re setting up your branding – as Dave did – don’t be afraid to use your own name. And you don’t need a fascinating story behind it either.
Steering off course for a moment, here’s the (non) fascinating story about the naming of the Dave Matthews Band:
Former band member LeRoi Moore reportedly telephoned a place they were booked and said to just write ‘Dave Matthews.’ The person receiving the call just wrote ‘band’ after the name, and the name stayed Dave Matthews Band from that point on.
If you choose to name yourself as the brand, it’s also ok to use that as your domain name. I suppose it’d be hypocritical to say otherwise, considering I blog at BrianGardner.com.
Rule #2 – Collaborate With (Really) Cool People
For every Maverick, there’s a Goose. For every Ernie, there’s a Bert. And for every Dolly Parton, there’s a Kenny Rogers.
In fact, quite frequently it’s collaborations that can really prove to be pivotal in the establishment and success of building your brand.
The truth is we all enjoy having sidekicks – and once in a while those sidekicks can affect how we’re perceived and help us establish credibility. Live at Luther College, in my opinion, is easily Dave Matthews’ best album.
And it was a collaboration with Tim Reynolds.
It happens on Copyblogger almost every day as guest posting – and that’s no accident. Collaboration done right benefits both parties, and can equally build both brands.
Rule #3 – Embrace Your Fans to Help Achieve Success
I don’t know about you, but I’m a Dave Mathews Band fan – and that’s painfully obvious. I’m also a fan of Starbucks, which might also come as no surprise.
What makes a brand successful isn’t just a quality product or service – but also how they respond those who buy into their message. Whether it be simply “saying” or “selling”, how you react to the people who support you goes a long way.
The Dave Matthews Band plays for the fans – they are energized by the thousands of screaming people who raise their hands while they do their thing.
When’s the last time you wrote a blog post and were inundated with positive comments, or a number of retweets to something you said on Twitter? It might be on a much smaller scale, but it did “pump you up” and made you feel good, right?
The truth is, we all crave attention and want to have roadies.
Roadies affirm that we’re doing something right – but they also help spread our word. Think of them as your “street team”, and make sure you take the time to appreciate them.
Rule #4 – Stop Reading and Start Doing
This one is simple – I’ve given you enough here to get started. Go give some attention to those who are helping you build your brand.
Reply to an email you’d normally skip past. Give one of your fans some Follow Friday love.
Or something like that.
And when you’re done, come back here and leave a comment below and tell me what you did. I won’t consider it boasting, since I’m giving this to do as homework.
Image via Creative Commons, julioenriquez’s Flickr photostream. (source)