Back in the 90s, Rob Halford accidently separated himself from Judas Priest
Halford tells the story in his recent autobiography.
There was some mix-up in a letter he sent to the band's management. He wanted time off from touring to pick up a solo project. The management took it as a full-on severance.
For the first time since Priest hit it big in the 70s, he was out on his own.
But where Priest could headline a show and fill up a 60,000 seat stadium...
Rob Halford the solo act was having a hard time filling up clubs in his home country
It's not that nobody knew the name "Rob Halford".
The front-man for one of the best and most well-known metal bands ever was almost as much a househould name among fans as the band itself.
Meanwhile, Judas Priest kept on touring with a new singer. The band was about as popular as ever. (Though the two albums from the 90s, sans Halford, aren't nearly as well received.)
What's going on?
Brands work by name recognition
A fan of Judas Priest wants to see Judas Priest.
They don't want the lead singer's side project.
They want the main event.
And if the lead singer isn't there anymore?
The rest of the band is there.
The band isn't all the parts in the band.
Your brand is more than its parts
Whether you've got a band or a brand...
What you've got is a symbol.
A brand isn't its parts.
A brand isn't even the sum of its parts.
A brand is intangible.
Your brand is a collection of meanings.
It's the relationships with the audience.
It's the associations your customers have with your image.
Not your products, not your services. With you.
What's good for metal gods is good for writers and authors
You think you're in a different business because you're not touring to promote your latest album in front of screaming stadiums?
You think that this advice doesn't apply to you, because you write Serious Art and not low-class trash for plebes?
You think that you sell books, and not music, and therefore this makes advice for musicians and from musicians irrelevant?
If you write and publish what you write, you are a brand.
Brands live and die on perception.
Brands thrive on relationships.
If you think of yourself as a producer of words by the hour...
If you believe you're in the business of selling words to word buyers on the open market...
You are savaging yourself. Absolutely thrashing yourself.
And for what? To live up to a myth that English majors (who have never sold a book or more than 100 copies if they have) insist on selling you?
If you write for a living, you are a brand. Act appropriately.
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