Friday, July 17, 2009

Hottest Brand in the Land

October 29, 1976.

The Paul Lynde Halloween Special airs on ABC Television.

Watching on a newly-installed cable TV set, a Maritime teenager, two days shy of his 15th birthday; is awestruck by what appears on the screen.

This marked the first time KISS appeared on national TV and helped fuel their ultimate rocket ride to the top of rock and roll mountain.

33 years later, the KISS brand is still "alive" with “more than 2,500 licenses, a new coffeehouse chain, two reality shows, and numerous other ventures. A devout KISS Army of fans has licked up enough dolls, posters, mugs, lava lamps and whatever else they can get their hands on, placing these kings of the night time world in exclusive branding company. Few brands rival the the borderline religious fervor that KISS has generated for more than three decades.

Co-founder, guitarist and vocalist Paul Stanley was once asked what the difference is between a band and a brand.

"A band is limited in its potential to diversify, by its lack of multidimensional appeal. If music is the sole connect a band makes with a fan, music is all the fan will buy. In the case of KISS, in addition to music and video, we can market the iconic images of the band through products that allow fans to show their affiliation and allegiance to the band’s music, image and philosophy. That said, for a band/brand to sustain, the band must remain viable and credible as a music entity to maintain the brand’s validity."

But wait!

There is more.

The KISS branding machine rolls into Halifax this weekend for another revival with the faithful. An expected congregation of more than 40,000 will be ready with open hearts and wallets to scoop up all the necessary accessories for their once-in-a-lifetime concert experience, thanks primarily to the vision established by the "God of Thunder" himself, KISS branding mastermind, Gene Simmons.

And that's not all!

Simmons, who never hesitates to offer an opinion, advises all entrepreneurs who are serious about success to be voracious readers. He also believes it's wise to be nice to rich people, failing to remember the last time a poor person gave anyone a job.

Music and makeup aside, what is it you respect about the KISS approach to branding?

Are there ideas shared today by Stanley and Simmons that you could apply to achieve an explosive level of brand success?

"I asked my daughter when she was 16, What's the buzz on the street with the kids? She's going, to be honest, Dad, most of my friends aren't into Kiss. But they've all been told that it's the greatest show on Earth" ACE FREHLEY

Originally posted December 5, 2008

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