In his book Brand Like A Rock Star Steve Jones explains how The Grateful Dead not only invented a marketing approach that anticipated decades ago what many only start to learn today with the rise of social media. He also points out how important for their success it was to break the industry’s rules and create their own, which in fact is just another interpretation of Strategic Campaigning Guideline No. 2 (“control the agenda”)

Love their music or not, you can’t deny the visionary brilliance of the Grateful Dead. And for much of what they did, the experts at the time mocked them:

  • Fans recording concerts? Insane.
  • Database marketing? Hardly worth the trouble.
  • Social causes? That’s for politicians.
  • Intellectual rights? The record company gets those.

Rock star brands don’t always play by everyone else’s rules. They do things differently. They understand what matters to their fans and reflect that in how they do business. Rock star brands don’t look to the past or to the crowd to see what they should do next; they set their own course for the future. They are revolutionary. When you embark on something revolutionary, you won’t have any shortage of people telling you that you are wrong. When you draw your, own road map, you risk getting lost. You don’t have the same GPS that others have. Yet by drawing your own road map, you might discover places and routes that others have never seen before. You might just find a new way to do things that will change the world. Only those willing to take the risk, as the Grateful Dead did, will ever know the rewards.

I couldn’t say it any better. If he wants to be successful a campaigner will never accept rules that keep him from being so. He will change them.

Campaigning Seminar 2013 – erfolgreich Kampagnen planen und umsetzen

“Breaking The Rules” (AC/DC)

Black sheep and a renegade
Hot feet in the cool of the shade
The street jungle and the tough childhoods
Examinations done no good
Got crow bars and hot wired cars
Sneak thieves and cheap cigars
No rebellion not today
I get my kicks in my own way
Right ok
Just keep on breakin’ the rules
C’mon get ready to rule
Just keep on breakin’ the rules
C’mon get ready to rule

Tough breaks in the neighbourhood
A hard case who’s up to no good
Livin’ like trash a society rash
Ready to break and ready to dash
A bad deal and a real rough ride
And doin’ time on the other side
No rebellion not today
Get my kicks in my own way
Right ok
Just keep on breakin’ the rules
C’mon get ready to rule
Just keep on breakin’ the rules
C’mon get ready to rule
Tough breaks

Regulation ties
Regulation shoes
Those regulation fools
With the regulation rules
Just keep on breakin’ the rules
C’mon get ready to rule
Just keep on breakin’ the rules
C’mon get ready to rule
Just keep on breakin’ the rules
Breakin’ the rules
Get ready
Just keep on breakin’ the rules
C’mon get ready
Get ready
Get ready
Ready to rule
Take off your ties
And your regulation shoes
You’re nothing but a bunch of regulation fools
And your damn regulation rules
I’m gonna do things my own way
Everyday, everyday,
In everyway
I ain’t gonna pay no attention to your rules

Comments
  1. Steve Jones says:

    Thanks for the kind words about the book “Brand Like A Rock Star”! You may be happy to learn that we are close to finalizing details to translate the book into German this fall. Rock on!

    • Thanks for the book! I hope the translation will be a good one. There are so many badly translated English books…

      I am working on my second book, about AC/DC and the 14 Strategic Campaigning Guidelines. Once that is translated into English (first version will be in German) I will let you know about it. Most of it is already an this blog, but in German. Someone who read my articles recommended your book, and after reading it I have to say that we have a very similar approach.

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