Embracing those ch-ch-changes

How do you create a forward-looking brand with a lasting legacy? One that’s prepared to change direction, but remains true to its core values?

 

The death of the great David Bowie this week had us thinking about the need to embrace change, while staying true, relevant and, above all, likeable. Bowie reflected his time, but forged ahead without ever alienating his fans. Among those who adored him, he kindled the fire of a life-long loyalty.

 

At the heart of the transformations and costume changes were intelligence and honesty. Under his dazzling creativity, he was neither condescending, nor shallow, but a leader, an ambassadorial artist – someone with integrity, who could explore the near future for us and report back.

 

At the heart of each new Bowie song, each thrilling new reincarnation, there was always a germ of recognition for his fans. And underneath each new space suit, each new hairstyle, his essence remained, even as his wit and intelligence shone through.

Bowie was not a trend led chameleon instead he achieved a difficult but brilliant balance in his transformations; electrifying amounts of creative energy and ambition, but always anchored in a solid sense of self. His music told a story as his life unfolded:  for his fans, it mirrored their own experiences and desires, and they were hooked.

 

‘Brand Bowie’ may seem like stretching things a bit far, but why not take inspiration from the singer’s life? We think these are some of the brand learnings:

  • Don’t be afraid of change.
  • If, with each new change, you can show the consumer that your values are not for sale, that they are integral to your brand, and that you are moving forwards together, rather than leaving them behind, then your legacy will be lasting.
  • Tell your story with wit and creativity – be likeable, and relevant. The consumer will see reflections of themselves, and brand loyalty will follow.