The best-selling album of the decade? Not Eminem. Not Usher. But The Beatles 1, a collection of Beatles Number One singles that has sold 11.4 million units since its release in November 2000. Pretty astonishing for a group that broke up decades ago.
One can argue that the lack of Beatles music in digital format contributed to the sale of the physical CD. But I think there’s a lot more to the popularity of The Beatles 1: quite simply, the Beatles created an enduring brand. I’m not talking about successful marketing (although the band has been well marketed over the years). No, the Beatles created a great brand by creating a great experience — the songs and albums that delight us over and over each time we hear them. Without compelling music, the Beatles might have enjoyed success initially but not this kind of long-term loyalty from one generation to the next.
Sound obvious? I hope it sounds so obvious that all of us aspire to create something great. I’m not saying we can all be Beatles, but we can follow their example — by trying to create something memorable for others, whether you are publishing content, providing a service, or marketing a product.
It’s worth pointing out that the Beatles enjoyed wild success during its 1964 invasion of the States after the band’s music began to take hold. The music (specifically the song “I Want to Hold Your Hand”) ignited the interest among American consumers. The promotion of the band built off that interest, in turn.
To build a great brand, don’t get obsessed with generating buzz or influencing the influencers. Create something great first.