Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From KISS


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  • Gene Simmons this and Gene Simmons that. Even I have at times had issues with how KISS has become more of a brand than a band, but that brand is what it is all about. Ask Gene Simmons about his TV show, Family Jewels and he will act like he has never heard of it, replying “you mean Gene Simmons Family Jewels.” Make sure you are always thinking about how your band is represented, as a brand. Make sure you are referred to by your band name.
  • Gene Simmons understands that everything he does will not succeed, that does not stop him. He keeps putting out business ventures, KISS product, tours, and albums. He knows that over time some of these will succeed and they will be remembered. Our attention spans are so short today that we will quickly forget the failures. Don’t stress them, learn what you can and move onto the next idea. Got a content idea for your website, try it. If your fans don’t get excited by it, move onto something else. That last contest didn’t work, try a different contest.
  • Never forget who you work for: The fans! You are doing this for them. Everyone would kill to have a Army of devoted, sometimes blindly, fans. Listen to what the fans want, not what the critics want. Critics don’t buy your music your tickets, they often get it for free. Those with the wallet speak the loudest.
  • Think about it, if you have a ton of people who are offended by what you are doing, you are doing something right to get attention. In the 70's, KISS offended many parents; looking like demons, spitting blood and breathing fire. KISS were never the darlings of reviewers and the the critics. That didn’t stop them. They believed in what they were doing. Don’t be afraid to offend someone with your passion. Just make sure you believe in what you are doing.
  • If you don’t ask to be on the cover, it is not going to be given to you. If you don’t ask for the headliner slot, it won’t just be volunteered to you. Somebody else will ask for it. If you want your fans to repost something on their Facebook wall, ask them to do it. Ask and you shall receive. Gene had hired me to manage the online marketing efforts for the book Kisstory II. Your morning show that means pushing hard to get an interview you might not get otherwise.  For a concert promotion, it means asking for more tickets than you might normally get along with an acoustic show at the station.  For sales, it means asking for the highest rate possible.  For social media, that means asking your followers to repost something you’ve written or to recruit their friends to “like” you. 
  • This means you do business with someone that you might not like personally. And just the opposite, don’t do business with someone just because they are a friend. It is all about the deal. If it is a great deal, don’t sweat it that the person doesn’t like the same things you do, or that they don’t even really like your music.
  • KISS is not afraid to change their minds and do something that previously they claimed to be against. Example: marketing to kids. In the late 70’s, around the Dynasty tour, KISS had become “Disney,” with colorful costumes, toys, etc. In a TV program, they even said they had become something they weren’t. They were a Rock and Roll band, but they were seeing young children at their shows. Today the band is directly marketing to and encouraging young kids to become fans. They have realized if they can grab the kids today, they have a new generation of fans growing up with them. On their last tour of the US, they offered free tickets to kids, and they now have merchandise for kids and even babies. I remember a number of years ago when I pushed for the very first KISS baby bottle and bib to be sold, it was a hit. The fans of the 70s have no grown up and have their own kids who are now growing up with KISS in their family. Ask, What are the things your station would never do that might open up new avenues?
  • Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From KISS

    1. 1. Marketing Lessons Y ou Can Learn From
    2. 2. love them or hate them <ul><li>100 Million Albums </li></ul><ul><li>2,500 Licenses </li></ul><ul><li>They Get It </li></ul>
    3. 3. it’s all branding
    4. 4. everything you do will not succeed Photo By Michael Brandvold
    5. 5. listen to your fans you work for them Photo: Download Festival 2008
    6. 6. the secret to success is to offend the greatest number of people Quote by George Bernard Shaw, repeated by Gene Simmons. Photo By Michael Brandvold
    7. 7. if you don’t ask for it you won’t get it Photo By Michael Brandvold
    8. 8. separate business and pleasure Photo By Michael Brandvold
    9. 9. they aren’t afraid to change their minds Photo: Great American Music, Bloomington 1979
    10. 10. thank you FREE Offer: 10 Lessons I Learned from Working with KISS. Twitter: @ michaelsb Facebook: Facebook: Email: [email_address] Photo By Michael Brandvold