Blues traces its history back to the 19th century, meaning that there’s much for a student of the genre to learn. But while there’s much that you can learn about the blues, there’s also much that you can learn from it.
5 Blues Artists You Can Take Marketing Lessons From
Below I’ve looked at 5 of the finest blues artists of all-time and highlighted the lessons that your brand can take from them. Read on, absorb their teachings, and your brand might just get the same legendary status as these musicians.
Lead Belly – Access another brand’s audience
Lead Belly was renowned for his brilliance on a twelve-string, rich and haunting voice, and for being a multi-instrumentalist – in addition to guitar, he also played mandolin, violin, piano, “windjammer” (diatonic accordion), and harmonica.
However, despite his own blues excellence, Lead Belly is most commonly known for Nirvana’s cover of his classic song, Where Did You Sleep Last Night.
This is something your brand can learn from: by accessing Nirvana’s fan base Lead Belly was able to get his name out to a much wider audience. Your brand can do this by employing the services of a micro or macro influencer. Doing this will put your name in front of a uniquely engaged audience, just like Lead Belly did with Nirvana’s!
Jack White – Really do it yourself
With his work in The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and as a solo artist, Jack White has brought blues to a wider audience than almost any musician. However, despite these success, it’s not White’s own music that your brand can learn from.
In 2001 White founded Third Man Records and in 2009 he gave it a physical location. Part of White’s reason for doing this was so that he could record whenever he wanted, stopping him from being restricted by other people’s schedules when he was working.
Learn from Jack White by making sure that wherever possible you own all of the equipment you need in order to be independent. Perhaps this is completing work in-house and ditching proprietary software, or maybe it’s owning your own office space so that you can come and go as you please. What’s important, though, is that you remove as many outside restrictions as possible so that you can focus on pure creativity unhindered.
Jimi Hendrix – Talent shines through when you get your message out
Check any list of the greatest guitarists of all time and you’ll often find Jimi Hendrix at the top. Described by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame “arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music,” Hendrix made electric blues dangerous, sexy, and timeless.
While Hendrix did all this for blues, the lesson he can teach your brand is less rock n’ roll. Hendrix made his fame by relentlessly putting his name out, touring incessantly, and putting his brand in front of engaged people.
Your brand can do the same by employing strategic, consistent, and targeted marketing. Like Jimi, you need to make sure your brand is seen by engaged people.
Email has the highest form of engagement of all marketing types, while social media has the greatest reach. Using an email marketing tool, such as Moosend, and a social media management platform, like Hootsuite in tandem, means that you can get your brand in front of the right people at the right time. By using tools like this sensibly, your brand name may live on as long as Jimi Hendrix’s (maybe.)
B.B. King – Be an innovator
Born in 1925 and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, B.B. King is rightly known as not just one of the most influential blues musicians of all time but as The King Of The Blues.
B.B. isn’t just the king, though, he’s also a teacher that your brand can learn a valuable lesson from. That lesson is that your brand can become a true success through innovation.
B.B. King’s specific innovation was his highly evolved soloing style, one which combined a glimmering vibrato with fluid string bending. This style would be adopted by a huge number of guitarists, spanning a range of genres.
I can’t tell you what your brand’s innovation ism but what I can tell you is that when you find it, your business will become even more successful.
Charley Patton – Be the originator
What’s more inspirational than being an innovator? Being an originator. And who is the origin of Delta blues? Charley Patton, the Father of the Delta Blues and a musician of almost unparalleled influence.
Patton was a musician who could turn his hand to a range of styles, with deep blues, white hillbilly songs, nineteenth-century ballads, and black and white country dance, all within his gifted remit.
However, Delta blues is the genre that owes its existence to Patton: the Mississippi Blues Trail made Patton’s grave its first historical marker.
Patton’s lesson is the most difficult for your brand to put into practice. Firstly, if it were so simple to be original every brand would do it, and secondly, originality isn’t always immediately and profitably appreciated.
So, really spend time thinking about what original contribution your brand can make to your industry.
Blues is a genre that’s given so much to music and, as you now know, it has so much to give to your brand too. Put the lessons of these 5 blues greats into practice and your brand could go from great to timeless — just like blues!
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