Movements + Moments: Tribute Performers or Private Brands?

Have you broadened your view of brands to include performers?

Consider a few of your favorite bands and it becomes easy to see it. They produce consumable content. They have a reputation and make a promise in how they perform. They have an audience and loyalists, hopefully. They have a style and often fit into certain archetype. Whether its an individual or a group, it isn't hard to see how performers are brands.

Now consider yourself in a rock band. You become highly successful and tribute performersstart forming [Beatles, Buggs; . Your friends remind you, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." But they are taking your content, redoing it in their form [which often isn't great] and people are paying to hear them perform. This seems comparable to a Private Label brand, at least as we have understood them in the recent past.

But, before we go there, the origin of this came from a performance by Hairball. It was interesting to watch 5,000 people at a bike ride across Iowa going insane over a tribute band. Many paid at the gate, others paid by being riders, but all had some expense to see these performers. Essentially this private label version of the classic hair bands (Aerosmith, AC/DC, Van Halen, etc.) was leveraging from the reputation of an era to build their own reputation, and making what seemed to a reasonable "rockstar" living from it.

Is this a fair comparison? Is the tribute band a private label in the music industry? Is there something interesting to learn from these tribute performers? What happens if Hairball starts coming up with their own content? What happens if their own song makes a top 20 list?

Apply this line of thinking to Private Label brands. The lines of thought are very interesting, if you've studied tribute performers enough, there's something to learn.

Is a tribute band really private label for the music industry? What can we learn from this?


Managing Principal
akeller@capsule.us

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