I read the news today, oh boy. The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is celebrating its 50th anniversary. As part of the celebration, all kinds of behind the scenes stories are coming out about the making of this creative masterpiece. As a Beatles nut, I have been soaking them all up. But as a marketing nut, I've noticed a few that are profoundly relevant to the creative process, if not to branding itself.
Let's start with the latter.
A band idea that behaved like a brand idea.
If you've ever read any of my posts about branding, you know I am a big believer in finding and articulating a brand idea that inspires everything a company does. In fact, armed with a powerful brand idea, it's no longer about what you would do in the marketplace, it's about what the brand would do.
Now, given that position, consider Paul McCartney talking about the motivation behind concocting a "Sgt. Pepper":
I thought, let's not be ourselves. Let's develop alter egos so we don't have to project an image that we know. It would be much more free. What would really be interesting would be to actually take on the personas of this different band. We could say, 'How would somebody else sing this? He might approach it a bit more sarcastically, perhaps.' So I had this idea of giving the Beatles alter egos simply to get a different approach.
Think about that. The Beatles invented a band idea that behaved like a brand idea. It was liberating to compose not what The Beatles would compose, but what this new fictitious band would compose.