Bruce Springsteen teaches business a lesson all over the world. I don’t just say that because I have been a devoted fan since 1978. I say it as a content marketer who uses blogs and social media to market my services. Businesses can learn a lot from Bruce Springsteen’s online marketing.
Bruce Springsteen teaches business a lesson in online marketing
In my previous article about Bruce Springsteen and his Social Media marketing machine, I talked about the influence of social media and the effect it has on marketing a brand such as a musician (or any brand for that matter).
Look at Bruce Springsteen and see how we can all draw incredible inspiration and real life examples on ‘how to’ market anything else online as a business.
Bruce Springsteen Teaches Business a Lesson – or 7
A musician that makes millions of dollars can teach us a lot about running a business (Bruce is supposedly worth around USD 250 Million). Selling records is probably harder to do than a normal business. So let’s learn from the best.
Here are 7 reasons why I say that Bruce Springsteen teaches business a lesson:
1. Bruce Springsteen is Passionate about what he does
Bruce is doing what he loves. PASSION is the NUMBER 1 RECIPE for success. When you do what you love, money is secondary. People will buy from you because they want Passion; they want your product to work for them and customers need to trust you before they buy from you.
I learned this business lesson years ago. I do content marketing and love it. My content is video, articles on my blog, and audio. Bruce’s content is video, articles on his website, and audio (music).
I just need to sell 120 Million memberships to my coaching program to match Springsteen’s 120 Million album sales. He sure sets the bar of business standards high.
Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt and Max Weinberg (image: Backstreets.com)
2. He Delivers – above and beyond the rest of the field
Any of his fans will testify that every Bruce Springsteen show is different to the last one. He delivers what you came to see and he goes for over 3 hours.
When every other provider in the business (effectively his ‘competition’ if he was a conventional business) only doing 90 minute and 2 hour shows at best, Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band performs above and beyond the rest of the field.
On the current Australian tour through Perth and Adelaide Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band performed about 29 – 30 songs per night. Any other band would normally play the same songs every night, in the same order (a bit like a musical).
Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band has performed 99 different songs on the tour so far, delivering something that very few musicians have the ability to do. That is MASSIVE Value to the people attending a Bruce Springsteen concert.
After the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen may have the oldest moshpit attendants in the world
3. Bruce Springsteen customers buy – again and again
Imagine you have a business where your customers keep coming back – buying from you time and time again. Even the same product! Bruce Springsteen has fans that follow him around the world and go to all of his concerts. On Facebook that would be referred to as a Facebook Stalker.
Well, in that case Bruce Springsteen has 4 million Facebook stalkers!
Bruce Springsteen’s fans buy his albums; then they buy the bootleg version (the illegal recording) just to hear the live version. I know this because I bought everything as a Bruce Springsteen fan. I bought all the vinyl singles because Bruce would put his ‘throw away songs’ that didn’t make the album on the B-sides (some of them anyway).
I have a collection of Bruce Springsteen ‘B-Side Rejects’ that was better than most other artist’s best albums!
4. He makes his products easy to purchase
On the 2014 Australian tour, Bruce Springsteen makes the recordings of each live concert available for download for around $11. That’s good value for 30 songs, especially if you went to that particular concert!
Hang on a minute! Bruce has played 99 different songs on the tour so far. There were only 30 played at ‘my concert’. Dammit.. I will need to buy all the other downloads too, so I can get the other songs. Give me a creditcard and 1 breath and I’ll go to the checkout right now on BruceSpringsteen.net (No, that is not an affiliate link; just a genuine recommendation).
Each Bruce Springsteen concert download contains 3 hours of music and 30 songs
Pretty clever if you ask me. That’s good marketing! We can learn a lot from this as marketers. Are you starting to understand why I say ‘Bruce Springsteen teaches business a lesson‘?
5. Bruce has commitment
Any business needs commitment and follow-through to achieve profit and success. Bruce Springsteen displays commitment and follow-through by the truckload. Here are just a few examples of commitment:
- Bruce Springsteen never had a full time job, other than music. It took more than 6 years of full time band practice, touring, doing the hard yards, rejections, etc, before he got his first record deal in 1972. It took another 12 years before he hit true commercial success in 1984 with Born in The USA.
- Tom Morello, formerly of Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave, and one of 4 lead guitarists in the band had to learn 250 songs to join the e-Street Band. After joining Bruce on stage in 2008 for a performance it took 5 years before they eventually toured and did an album together.
- The E-Street Band has 17 members and they all need to know hundreds of songs by heart because Bruce might just change it up at any moment. When a fan makes a request, he dives into the song, like a living music dictionary of Rock and Roll.
Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band: A superband by any means
6. Bruce Springsteen has Staying Power
This brings us back to Point #1 again: PASSION. Because Bruce Springsteen is passionate about his music he has got Built-In Staying Power. Many businesses don’t have Passion nor Staying Power. They just do it for the money.
Sure money is a reward but so it should be! In life you get rewarded in many ways for a good service. One of those ways is with money.
In business we tend to measure success in money earned (or profited). Bruce Springsteen did the hard work and he still does it. He does it, not because he has to, but because he wants to.
And his fans love him for it!
Would you want your customers to love you as much as Bruce Springsteen’s fans love him? If they did, you too would be a Multi-Millionaire doing exactly what you wanted for a business each day – just like Bruce Springsteen!
Bruce Springsteen is the true working-class multi-millionaire musician
7. The Team Respects The Boss
Bruce Springsteen got the nickname ‘The Boss’ one night after collecting payment from a show and dividing it out among the band members. The Band respects The Boss. The same applies to a business. If you do not treat the team with respect, you will never earn their respect.
What Can We Learn From Bruce Springsteen?
I can continue this list of “Marketing Lessons To Learn From Bruce Springsteen” forever. But I need to wrap it up now. Why? Because I too am super passionate about this very topic and you’d be here all night reading about Bruce Springsteen, his past 16 albums, 120 Million album sales, etc.
From underground to superstardom: Bruce Springsteen’s first 7 albums. 1972 – 1984
This is what we can learn about Bruce Springsteen as Bloggers, Content Marketers, and Business People: Apply the basics to running your business, online and offline. This means Passion, Commitment, Follow-Through, Over Deliver on your promises and take advantage of technology as it evolves.
Move With the Times to Grow Your Business!
Bruce Springsteen has adopted Social Media and the online medium successfully (far from it’s full potential but still incredibly effective).
When I was starting to forget a bit about Bruce Springsteen (it’s embarrassing to admit) in the 2000’s, as I was building momentum as a Content Marketer, I discovered the re-emergence of this guy called Bruce Springsteen through Social Media.
It was that same guy that brought me so much joy and inspiration, especially from the age of 11 to 21.
As life got busy Bruce Springsteen was always there for me with his music and a constant source of inspiration to me.
When I saw him (his team) doing the Social Media thing, just like me, I got more and more re-ignited by the old flame of inspiration.
And inspiration is very much needed to run a business!
Everything I coach my clients about is epitomised in Bruce Springsteen’s career. Passion, commitment, follow-through, doing what you love, over delivering on your promises… he does it all.
Better Days. Your Business Must Be Fun
With everything I have mentioned about Bruce Springsteen as an artist, musician and business person (and all the things that I just can’t fit into less than 2000 words), you have the basic groundwork for operating a successful business.
It’s easy to get bogged down into the technical data, losing the entire point why you want to work hard and spend your time in a business.
The whole point it to HAVE FUN! Learn from Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band.
Bruce Springsteen crowd surfing in Perth while singing a song. 8 Feb 2014
It can be easy to forget that music is just another business model; one that provides entertainment. It can be very rewarding and also very hard to compete it.
Which brings me to another point. It just dropped into my mind right now…
Could it be? Could it really be? No, Surely Not..
Could it be that I have indeed shaped in business by my inspiration and musical role-model, Bruce Springsteen? I write this as the thoughts pour out of my mind. That’s how I write; probably just like Bruce Springsteen writes his songs.
For the past 36 years, just perhaps, my biggest inspiration in business might just be Bruce Springsteen! The title of this article was written before this thought entered my head. But that’s it! Just like I say Bruce Springsteen teaches business a lesson; he has taught me a lot in life – just from the inspiration he provides.
Bruce Springsteen harmonising with Cindy Mizelle on backing vocals and Max Weinberg on drums
So there it is. We can all learn a lot from other people’s business. Bruce Springsteen runs a successful business that has lasted about 50 years. He has moved with the times, with the exact same brand, and he has simply been consistent and changed enough to cater for the marketplace.
Social Media, Content Marketing, Online Shopping… he has taken it under his wing, embraced it and is crushing it big time. Perhaps more than ever!
But there is one lesson that Bruce Springsteen teaches business night after night at his concerts: Keep delivering a good service to your customers.
Don’t forget who you are, where you came from and what you are about.
Bruce Springsteen: Born To Run
Bruce Springsteen introduces his 1975 power anthem, Born To Run, with a line that every business should adopt as their Mission Statement:
“In the end nobody wins unless everybody wins” ~ Bruce Springsteen
To me there has been no bigger inspiration in business than The Boss himself: Bruce Springsteen
Thanks to Springsteen Fans Mitch D and Jarryd for providing some of the images via Twitter.
I welcome your comments and feedback below.
Related article: Bruce Springsteen The Boss of Social Media