BE LIKE ELVIS: A TRULY ICONIC BRAND
Elvis was a master at utilizing memorable elements; the way he did his hair, the suits he wore, his moves, and his makeup. This way, he was able to break traditional stereotypes while he shocked the world and built his personal brand in an iconic way.
Juan Carlos Mallet
Oscar nominations are out! Elvis, directed by Baz Luhrmann, has caused great sensation between younger and older audiences, not only because it is a great movie or because it's a biopic on one of the greatest music legends, but because it projects some brand values which I find fascinating. Why was Elvis so successful? Yes, he was an artist with every necessary aspect: looks, talent, creativity, and passion, but what can we learn from him and apply it to the world of brands? There are four characteristics worth focusing on if we want to make a difference in the brands we manage. 1. Authenticity: Elvis, the artist, was born in a very original way. In the movie, we see how he and his mother move to a poor neighborhood; Thanks to this experience, he soon discovered and developed a passion for the music of the black community. With that, he could mix both cultures and come up with an entirely new proposal in terms of sound, looks, and feelings… something that the world had never seen before. 2. Curiosity: Elvis was filled with curiosity from a young age. His experiences allowed him to make a difference, he added values such as diversity, acceptance, and tolerance, and he introduced the common grounds between different cultures; With this, he broke the existing paradigms and patterns through music. His story teaches us that we must be open-minded when exploring different ways of seeing and interpreting the world, experimenting with other cuisines, other forms of cinematography, art, music, and literature. It is necessary to dare and open up to ways of reviving that genuine and authentic child-like curiosity, which is essential for anyone trying to build a differentiated brand. 3. Bravery: Elvis was not afraid. He knew how to conquer his fears. Once on the stage, dressed in pink, he seemed to transform completely, both externally and internally. Wearing his suit, he felt like the king of entertainment, and he managed to transmit that belief to his audience. He struck hard and listened to his intuition by impacting the world through a never-seen-before sound and image. Maybe Seth Godin would tell us, "he knew how to become a Purple Cow, an extraordinary brand that catches all of our eyes." In other words, Mystery, the famous master of seduction portrayed in the book The Mystery Method, called this tactic "The Peacock." Elvis' accessories and clothing, which could be seen as ridiculous at first glance, had the power to transform into a powerful tool and even an icon. People will immediately admire someone who wears these things confidently because it breaks mental paradigms and draws attention. Elvis was a master at utilizing these memorable elements; the way he did his hair, the suits he wore, his moves, and his makeup. This way, he was able to break traditional stereotypes while he shocked the world and built his personal brand in an iconic way. 4. Know your strengths and utilize them: Elvis identified that his hip movements would drive women crazy. Whenever he wanted to draw attention, he would shoot his sensual dance moves and make his fans lose their minds. He knew he had a great voice and that it was his greatest strength, but with time Elvis learned that he was also a great showman, capable of creating magic on the stage. Elvis had the power to mobilize the masses when he applied his innovative and agitative qualities while he defended the causes he believed in. Brands in general, and challenger brands more specifically, should look at Elvis' story. Learn how to get up on a stage where thousands of similar products have appeared. If a brand has a clear target, dares to break paradigms, and "wears a pink suit," it can successfully transmit its message and become the most attractive option. 5.Presence: To become an icon, your brand must have a strong and desirable personality and charm. When Elvis walked into a place, he made heads turn. This also implies a massive commitment to your target, as brands should always find ways of continuously seducing and conquering consistently; this way, your loyal customers will become ambassadors. That's why it's no wonder why many artists have copied that same strategy. Luis Miguel, the Latin artist, had a strong presence and a great voice, but when he added his iconic hairstyle, inspired by Elvis, and his hip movement, he made his fans go crazy. Harry Styles, recently named "The most desired man in the world," dresses up in "feminine" clothing; he dares to wear leggings, skirts, and dresses, complemented with pearl necklaces. And guess what? He does his hair the same way Elvis did. Entertainment sources have said that he even begged Baz Luhrmann to cast him for the role of Elvis, but paradoxically, he wasn't chosen for the reason of being "too famous." Differentiation, seduction, art, and symbolism not only interest artists and entertainers; they're also characteristics of big brands built across a solid strategy. Do you want to become the "Elvis" of your category? Dare to be authentic and irresistible. We can help.
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