TunesDay, and today it’s a visit from the King Of The Blues, Mr. B.B. King. Anyone who has picked up a guitar in the last 60 years that has been influenced by his playing, even if indirectly. Number 6 on Rolling Stones’ 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time, B.B. King would be cited by each of the 5 ahead of him as critical in their learning. A member of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame (1987), he is one of the most influential musicians of all time. Having seen him dozens of times I can also tell you he puts on a great show. Today, we’re going to learn a little bit about business from him.
In 1969, he recorded an old (1931!) song called “The Thrill Is Gone“. It was his biggest hit and remains his signature tune. I’ll get to this in a second, but first I want to focus on the title track of an album he released in 1972 called “Guess Who.” It’s a perfect marketing lesson in under a minute and a half:
This is exactly the message brands and businesses need to convey:
Someone really loves you
Guess who, guess who
Someone really cares
So open your heart
Oh, then surely you’ll see
That the someone who really cares is me
We need to be asking ourselves if that’s the message we’re putting out there or is it all “buy this”? Contrast that lyric with the message B.B. reminds us is on every customer’s mind:
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away
You know you done me wrong baby
And you’ll be sorry someday
Yes indeed. Consumers have never had so many choices – and so many brands competing for their attention and dollars – as they do now. As long as we keep those two songs in our minds, those choices will be made in our favor. Ignore them and it’s you who’ll be singing the blues. You with me?