My musical tastes tend to stay around 80’s and 90’s indie music, but I have a soft spot for several classic metal acts, and that culminated in taking my teenage son to see Iron Maiden.
Regardless of your thoughts on the music, 45 years in, they put on an amazing show and are as proficient on their instruments/vocals as they ever were.
It’s impressive, but what’s more impressive is how savvy they are when it comes to branding.
While a good many of their peers are long gone, Iron Maiden is consistently selling out arenas (15,000 or so here in Cincinnati) and while the music has to stand the test, their marketing/branding is a also juggernaut, and most importantly, comes from a foundation established over decades in the most authentic way possible. (I know that word is so overused today, but it fits here.)
“Great, Lee, so glad you and your son enjoyed the concert, how is this helping my new business effort?”
Oh, I shall tell you.
Granted, we don’t all have a 45-year legacy to build on, but you can take away these 4 key tenets that make Maiden, and your firm, a force to be reckoned with.
1) They are always on-brand
In live show etiquette (if there is such a thing) it is sometimes considered gauche (?) to wear your own band’s t-shirt.
At least 3 (of the current 6) band members wear Iron Maiden shirts while playing. And it works for them.
Case in point-guitar extraordinaire Dave Murray, below.
It plays into their ethos and their overall brand. And while I’m not advocating you wear your agency t-shirt at every opportunity, when you’re in new business mode, you have to find ways to constantly keep your agency brand top of mind.
But you have to do it with value, and dare I say, authentically. The members of Iron Maiden are craftsmen of their genre-so wearing that shirt consistently reinforces their brand from a quality/value standpoint.
That’s what you need to be-a craftsman, or advocate, of your services and the value you can bring a client, with every touchpoint.
2) They are master merchandisers
Are they ever. There’s another piece of live show etiquette from a fan standpoint-when you go see a band live, you don’t wear their t-shirt to the gig.
Not true with Iron Maiden fans. Oh no. EVERYONE there is wearing a Maiden shirt.
It’s the only show I’ve been to where the beer line was 10 or so people and the merchandise booths were literally 100’s of people long, no exaggeration. At $45 a shirt.
Iron Maiden has built a fan base through initial word of mouth, consistent delivery and value over time.
It’s how you need to approach new business, and thankfully, won’t take 45 years.
3) They are master marketers
To be fair, you get plenty of bands with a solid social media presence-Iron Maiden takes it to another level, and it’s typically all about the fans, not about them.
They encourage fans to post pics and they incorporate them into their social feeds.
And you see more and more kids at there shows, and the band embraces that as well.
And then there’s Eddie, the band mascot that adorns every album cover, shirt and live show in some fashion.
Yes, he’s creepy, but fans embrace Eddie wholeheartedly. And again, it’s all about the fans on social media.
Your takeaway form new business-
Make it about your prospects.
Don’t go into a pitch or first meeting talking about yourself, but instead, what you know about your prospect and how you’ve helped similar prospects.
4) They have a consistent, quality product/process (i.e. they rock)
Iron Maiden have released 16 studio albums to-date. They vary in quality, but across the board, they stay on-message and they deliver a consistent product.
You know what you’re getting and you see the value.
Follow this path for new business.
Oh, and here’s me and my son, Luke, at the show. (Up the Irons!)