Monday, 29 June 2009

Brand Michael Jackson

The title above leads to an article by John Quelch, a Harvard professor and renowned expert on marketing. This note from John, we felt was pretty badly written. One of the reasons we think, serious thinkers should avoid going pop.

Apart from the style of writing, we disagree with the content. MJ, for all his wonderful music, died a very poor brand. At the pinnacle of his fame (80s-mid 90s), he was a great brand, but we are not sure he will be remembered as one.

The last decade of his life, MJ did not create any entertainment or associate himself with any work that engaged , entertained or educated his fans. The 3 Es that all brands must continuously strive to deliver to remain consistent.

In fact, his actions took him into realms where even his staunchest fans could not but begin to suspect an unstable mind at work.

We loved his music and hold both "Off the Wall" and "Thriller" as masterpieces. We are saddened by his death, but we were equally saddened to see the brand already in decline from the mid 90s. We were hoping the brand would revive itself with the latest concert.

If anything (and with a heavy heart), we would present his life as a classic case in not only how great brands establish themselves, but how they fade away as well.
While we cannot offer any precise insights on what went on in his life, we think he started living in a virtual world filled with sycophants. Brand managers that get removed from their consumers should beware. It appeared as if, MJ felt he was above the rules of social living. Great brands reflect the society they live in and working from within, evolve social thinking.

Thanks for all the music and entertainment MJ. May your soul rest in peace.

Ritu, Venkat.

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