you wanna see “armies of customers”?
look at this:
those little dots going off into the horizon are PEOPLE, crammed together standing like sardines, watching Michael Jackson at his best in the Dangerous tour, 1992.
When i want to study marketing, i look at this guy. Dude. With all due respect to the internet sellers i’ve learned from, i think following only them gives one a very narrow outlook on business. actually, i’ve learned more from observing their mistakes than from listening to what they say.
in any case, i would say there are far richer, more successful, much better marketed businesses out there to learn from.
and Michael Jackson, “Inc” is such a business. I use the present tense, because the business lives on even with the man gone.
his business, sold “attention”
And, believe me, if the guy had one thing down to a science, it was his ability to get attention. His whole life was about it.
By serving up Entertainment, he had power. He got under the radar of people, messed with their emotions, and anchored himself to everything that’s going on in their lives. Love him or hate him, his news was always cause for attention. And it punctuates our memories.
Don’t you remember him in the Pepsi commercials, when he sang Bad? I do. It was in the early 90’s, i think. I was a kid and i went around singing “i’m bad, i’m bad” until my dad told me to stop, because i was “a good kid” and Michael was “a bad man”. You probably have your own memory of what was going on in your life at that time.
i also remember when the news came out that he’d died, i was at Radio Shak buying a HDMI cable in Austin, TX, shortly after having met with Perry Belcher and Ryan Deiss at their Austin headquarters with Mike Dillard.
I want that Super Power.
people paid big money for Michael to endorse their crap. he was better at getting attention than most of the businesses who used him.
So i thought i’m going to write and tell you what i’ve learned from watching Michael Jackson, the business.
I’ve linked to the specific video i took the snapshot from for your convenience: Michael Jackson Dangerous Tour 1992.
Watch as the fans scream before he makes an appearance. Some of them are already passing out and crying from the excitement, the anticipation. He builds it up, and still there is no sign of him.
When finally he appears, i don’t know what they call it…but it’s like a “hurraah”… you know? he jumps out of the ground. And the crowd goes absolutely BONKERS. He holds. and ever so precisely he times these jerking movements as he surveys his crowd. Then finally, he removes his shades and let’s them see his friendly eyes.
How could ANYONE believe this man was in the very process of selling to them?
If i could get people to watch and wait with anticipation for the first words to come out of my mouth….i would sell the bejezus of them. i mean, it is short-sighted, i agree. But WOW.
Don’t you want power like that?
That’s not all i learned though. As I watch successful businesses, one thing i have noticed is their focus on consistency. I think it’s because they get, like this, the recognition they need to keep growing without ever losing a person after they’ve reached them. Does that make sense?
Think of it like this…suppose you didn’t know me. And this was your first contact with me.
How can i make sure that you will always remember me?
Even if you unsubscribed from my blog and didn’t see me again for 4 years…what can i do to make sure that you will ALWAYS remember me?
Being consistent, yet unique, allows you to recognise me no matter when we reconnect. That’s what i strive to do. I think if i can make myself memorable to you, i will never have to pay for your audience again. I will never have to earn a “history” with you ever.
You’ll always be able to say, “hey i knew that guy back when he was doing this and that”.
or, “hey i got the first edition of that book, when it first came out!”
or, ” ohhhh! is that the guy with the xxxxx or the yyyy”
Michael Jackson was BIG on recognition. I know not everyone liked the man…but anyone who knew of him, can tell you at least these things:
– the guy was a bit of a freak
– his most famous move was the “moon walk”
– he grabbed at his crotch an awful lot
– he wore that odd single white glove
– heeeeeeeeee-heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee hoooooo owwwwwwww! *crotch grab* lol
Tell me you don’t at least recognise these things. I bet if he came back from the dead, totally reincarnated as a budhist monk, he could still release a single tomorrow and get his peeps back.
That’s all folks.
(need a moral to the story?
moral: get some new mentors, be unique, stay recognisable )