May 11 marked the thirty two year anniversary of Bob Marley’s death and after all this time his legend is still deeply rooted in the hearts and minds of people around the world. More than a musician, Bob Marley remains a cultural icon whose beliefs sparked both controversy and change. His music stood the test of time.
As a music lover and PR professional, Marley’s story has always inspired me. As a tribute, I thought I’d dedicate this post to him while sharing some helpful tips for brands looking to grow its own fan base.
How to Brand Like Marley:
Rule #1 – Stay true to your company’s core values instead of compromising your product to appeal to a wider audience. Bob’s “product” was his lyrics, he believed in what he was “selling” and sang with conviction.
Rule #2 – Give back to the community that supports your brand. Bob didn’t just sing about social justice, he practiced what he preached by taking on a series of community based projects that supported the people in Jamaica (his homeland) as well as the indigenous people Africa, New Zealand and around the world.
Rule #3 – Stay disciplined and true to your brand. Success doesn’t happen overnight. In fact it took Bob more than 8 years before he reached fame with the release of “Catch a Fire” in 1973.
By implementing and living by these rules, Bob was crowned the first “Third World” superstar and remains one of the most famous international pop stars, having sold more than 25 million albums worldwide.
So you may ask, how can a Brand continue to grow its audience after all this time? The answer – produce an excellent “product” with the mission to make the world a better place and generation after generation after generation just might support it.
What is your favorite Bob Marley song and how old were you when you discovered him?
Fun Facts – Bob Marley currently has 31 million Facebook fans and his greatest hits album, Legend, released in 1984, consistently sells more than 200,000 copies a year. According to Billboard Magazine, Legend has the distinction of being the 2nd longest-charting album in history. In 1999 TIME magazine chose Bob Marley & The Wailers’ Exodus as the greatest album of the 20th century.