Adele’s listening party was everything. She gave what she needed to give. She did the things that needed to be done.
First of all, let’s all give it up for Adele for being consistent. Not only as a musician but also as a brand. She has effortlessly managed to maintain her brand over the years, specialising in relationship-focused music. Just like in the good old days, right!
Why is this important? Answer: Branding
When a company or a person becomes big and well-established, the importance of remaining consistent to their own brand becomes critical. Why? Because consumers do not like change. In our previous discussions, we’ve mentioned why consumers do not like change — I invite you to refer to the previous articles for a deeper analysis. But, here’s a quick example. For every 100 consumers, only below 10% will be easily swayed to embracing new changes. Generally, people love comfort. People like familiarity …just like we do in our personal relationships.
In our personal lives, once a partner shows any major changes, what do we tend to do? We tend to break-up the relationship. We get angry. We get upset. We become shocked. We start to think that we’re not doing something right in the relationship. And it becomes stressful to adapt to the new changes.
For that reason, ladies and gentlemen, it is exactly the same feeling that consumers experience when their favourite brand starts behaving differently. In fact, 90% of human beings will continue to use the old products, or listen to the old songs that they liked from the artist. Or they’ll simply find a replacement. Basically, what we learnt at Graduate Business School is that marketing or branding can be a replica of our real lives. What happens with brands can or does happen in our personal lives too. And vice-versa.
With that said, small brands, or Start-ups can manage to rebrand, and as many times as it is necessary for them to find their own niché.
Problem: Branding in Music
Over the years, many best singers have lost their leading power because they changed their branding direction. They changed their purpose, and as a result, confusing their audience. For example, a well known, Mega Icon, mega musician, was well-known for empowering women or those who identified as such. But then She changed Her brand direction abruptly. Focusing on racial and political issues instead, which resulted in a major shift in Her fanbase.
Was it wrong for Her to use Her beautiful and powerful voice for the better good? No.
But, the problem is that She had built an audience that was not necessarily concerned about race. Her audience cared about Female Empowerment. So, the sooner that She spoke about racial issues, uplifting one race over the other, the other races withdrew their support. They felt left out all of a sudden. They felt betrayed. Because they had worshipped this Icon for years, some to the point of seeing Her as part of them. Why? Because She had branded Herself as part of everyone (regardless of race). Now, all of a sudden, She was like, hey I’m Black, you’re not. I’m more powerful than you. I’m a king. I’m magnificent than you..and so on. Which shocked a lot of other races …or even angered them. Talk about a harsh break-up!
Political/Racial Music Stars
Now, had for example, India Arie done the same thing again, it wouldn’t have mattered to the audience. Simply because she represented herself as a proud Black Singer from the beginning of her career. Debuting the song “Brown Skin”. But, of course, India Arie did it at a time when being Black was unpopular.
Another perfect example of remaining consistent in her brand, as a political or racial-based singer, is Solange Knowles. She has been known by everyone that she is Black and Proud. And she let it it be known from the get-go. In fact, as a result of her pride in herself, and in her race and skin, her fanbase has grown tremendously …and it’s made up of all races.
On the other hand, for some people, changing a brand direction can be advantageous. For example, had Kelly Rowland took advantage of the “Dark-skinned Black is Beautiful Movement” as soon as it became popular in 2016, she could have owned that lane effortlessly. Why? Because she fits the idea of being a role model to dark-skinned black girls. She is a dark-skinned celebrity with first knowledge of the rejections, the social bullying, and so on.
But, it was other celebrities, light-skinned celebrities, who took that direction. As a result, they couldn’t be convincing enough to either the dark-skinned girls or the other races. Why? Because they didn’t experience the traumas and problems of dark skinned people. Meaning that their brand representation was not a perfect fit to the audience.
It’s like a skinny man advertising clothing to big people. He wouldn’t be convincing to the target market. On the contrary, it would look like he’s making an effort to mock that audience. Or to validate himself as the better option.
Now Back to Adele
Adele has built her own lane. She reintroduced music that had been shelved by the industry. She came in at a time when people were crazy over Pop music. And she reminded everyone that they also needed to chill and feel ….after all that dancing.
Consequently, she paved her own path …with no competition on sight. Now, should we even discuss her magnificent talent? Her elegance. I mean she wears her long dress, gets on that stage with her mic, most times just by herself …and does the best job ever.
And the cherry on top is that her music is relatable to everyone. Why? Because all of us have an equal opportunity to experience love setbacks. All of us experience disappointments in love regardless of our gender, race, or religion. Adele doesn’t sway with the new Tick-Tock challenges, as she has stated. Or the new beats. Or the overnight Movements. She’s just in her lane, competing with herself.
The Music /Album: #30
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to leave this paragraph blank because ….wow, speechless.