I read with interest several recent Elton John interviews in support of his latest (33rd) album release, The Diving Board. In a WSJ interview, the album is praised for being a return to the basic style that had Elton continuously on the Top 40 charts for over 4 years during the mid-70’s. The articles made me think about how a brand that started strong can survive for so long putting out some questionable products, and what lessons about marketing strategy we can we take from this.
The quick story on Mr. John’s career is that he had great success working with a core team of a writer, Bernie Taupin, a bassist and a drummer. He was at the top of his game with hits like Rocket Man, Honkey Cat and Your Song. After achieving success, arguably his product range got watered down, with a long succession of product releases that didn’t meet sales expectations. To many in his loyal customer base, it appeared he was going through the motions and had lost his innovative edge.
As I thought about Elton John the brand and Elton John the product, I found there are 4 lessons about marketing or strategic management that we can learn from:
I realize this is a broad simplification of a long and successful career. The points made – understand your strengths and execute against them, continuously improve your products, study your channel and promote your team – are significant business lessons that can help you reignite business growth.