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SXSW Interactive 2014

Why Mariah Carey is a Better Brand Than You

Musicians are more than entertainers – they’re brands damn good at generating conversation. So what can brands learn from the music scene?
1. They create fans that want to create communities.
While brands are trying to develop communities, musicians are empowering fans who want to create communities on their behalf. How can a brand build real fans beyond the like button?
2. They diversify.
Jay-Z has diversified his roster beyond music to great success. How have brands diversified to introduce new revenue streams?
3. Their craft is their message.
Musicians generally don’t have to wonder how they can be authentic given their songs and look are their message.
4. They respond to culture.
Diddy has been a part of culture for so long by responding to change. How are brands becoming more responsive to culture?
5. They’re batsh*t crazy.
A healthy dose of insanity is good – it keeps fans surprised. What happens when a brand is brave enough to follow their crazy whims, too?

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  1. What are the best examples of musicians having become engrained into the cultural psyche of their fan bases thanks to evolution, diversification and so on?
  2. What are examples of how brands can apply the lessons learned from musicians to their businesses?
  3. What are some actionable steps marketers can take to put the lessons learned into practice?
  4. What types of brands would be best served by taking a page from the musicians’ playbook and following these lessons learned?
  5. When would it not be appropriate for a brand to follow a musician’s example?


  • Maggie Walsh, Senior Strategist, 360i


Maggie Walsh, Senior Strategist, 360i

Meta Information:

  • Tags: marketing
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Entrepreneurialism and Business
  • Level: Advanced
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