In the world of marketing brand association is critical. Nike pays Tiger Woods millions of dollars to wear a Nike logo as then the consumer associates Tiger Woods with Nike and thinks if they buy Nike products they might one day play golf as well as he does.
Every time Tiger Wood’s picture appears in a national newspaper or television, Nike is getting free product placement as their logo also appears along with Tiger Woods. While other companies pay to take an ad in a newspaper, Nike simply pays Tiger Woods and automatically appears where ever Tiger appears.
If you want to launch your brand, you will also need product placement and brand association. But the problem is that you might not have the millions of dollars that Nike has to get their brand name out to the market.
As I decided that the best place in the world to open the first physical campus for Webpreneur University was in Pakistan – I went and researched to figure out who were the celebrities for the country. I met sports celebrities such as Imran Khan and then researched the biggest rock bands in the country.
Strings are one of the hottest bands in the country. Being around since 1990s and driving a lot of the music industry. Everyone in Pakistan knows Strings and they are a big hit in India as well. You can see an interview I did with them after they played at the Palladium in Dubai:
In case you can’t see the video above, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BplHwCbHc4g
Success leaves clues. And if you are based in Pakistan or indeed any other country you need to follow what the successful brands did to make themselves successful. This includes the celebrities such as Strings or Imran Khan in the case of Pakistan. Celebrities are simply brands just as Nike, McDonalds or Microsoft are brands.
The benefits that these celebrities get when I interview them is they increase their exposure. The benefits I get are that I not only increase my confidence over time to know that a “celebrity” is really no big deal but also get a chance to connect and network with them. And of course, I increase the brand association for my own brands.
As I start up an educational brand, Webpreneur University, it means that being associated with the Strings of the world helps promote the brand. The youth in a country look up to the celebrities as they imagine themselves also being on stage one day – away from the shackles of a 9 to 5 day job working in a bank. When you were 16 did you want to be a rock star or a banker? As my market is the people that want to be creative entrepreneurs, I’m interviewing and learning from the best creative entrepreneurs.
A cost effective trick for you to build up your own brand (company or personal) is to follow the “Oprah Winfrey” model of promotion. Oprah interviews the stars and automatically gets associated with them. You too can follow this model – just as I am as one of my marketing strategies. I figured if her strategy made her the richest self-made woman on earth, than you or I can also follow in the steps of Oprah.
Having studied the art of creating wealth for a decade now, I figured out one other secret: “Hang out with other successful people if you want to be successful yourself“. If you hang out with smokers, chances are you will smoke. Hang out with drinkers, and you will drink. Hang out with fat people, and you might also gain a few pounds.
Hang out with people you want to be like and by human nature as you will try to impress them so you too will become like them. So as I start to hang out with more “celebrities” it means that I sub-consiously also give myself approval that it’s okay for me to be famous too. And if you truly want your businesses to dominate than you will have to learn to become famous too (Apple gets way more free exposure than Nokia as Steve Jobs is more talked about than the the CEO of Nokia – I don’t even know his name).
Popularity rules in the internet economy. Research the basics of getting on top of Google search and you learn that the more people that link to your site, the more likely you are to come on top of Google. Your high school years never went away. Popularity is still important.
In the internet economy ANYONE can become a celebrity. When Strings first became famous in the early 1990s there were only a limited number of television channels in Pakistan. If you got on the air, you became big. In the new economy, there are billions of videos on YouTube. A simple $200 camera gets you on air and no the editing isn’t the best at this stage. But this is also how you will begin your slow rise to fame. Start the filming yourself. And eventually you make your way to television (if that is what you desire). Read How the Television Created Wealth to see how a bigger reach will help you gain more wealth. And as a part of the game online is to increase traffic, celebrities are searched more than normal people so I increase the possibilities of people landing on one of my sites.
And you might be asking why I’m not going further into the history of Strings but talking about the marketing aspects of interviewing celebrities instead. Because ultimately I’m a teacher of webpreneurship. I’m teaching you how to create brands. Any brand. And musicians are simply brands. I meet some of the most creative talented artists/musicians/film makers/programmers – but they don’t have the business acumen to do what Strings have done and turn what they love to do (in this case play music) into a living.
My passion in life is to teach people about the web and entrepreneurship. Yes, I could get a job in some university and limit my wealth potential (teachers don’t get paid well especially in the developing world). Or simply start a brand focussed on what I love and hopefully monetize it as well over time.
There is more to being a rock star than being able to play music. You need to be able to connect to the audience at the concerts (public speaking courses help!). Do television interviews. Do various business deals and joint ventures to promote the brand.
If you are starting up your band and want to take it to the next level – learn the world of marketing and business rather than simply focussing on the music!
You have to admit though, Strings have talent – and without that they couldn’t have gotten as far as they have. Whether you speak Hindi/Urdu or not you might enjoy this tune:
In case you can’t see the video above, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3jVJu8Db6Y
Webpreneur University is teaching entrepreneurs how to launch and create their brands. Just like the webpreneur Roz Martin who attended the webpreneur camp and launched her online business www.thecollagencompany.com you too can attend a camp on 29/30th in Dubai and learn take the first steps to becoming a webpreneur. From Sept 2011 WU will be offering one year courses in Islamabad, Pakistan to people that want to be as successful in creating brands just as Strings have been over the past two decades.