Music is wonderful medium that has the power to truly move and inspire. Recently, we lost Prince, a brilliant multi-instrumentalist and musical genius. Prince used his music and the silver screen to inspire his fans to become their best selves. He was a legendary leader who built his rockstar brand from the soul. And, there’s no doubt that he left behind some huge shoes to fill.
Although Prince is gone, through the powerful influence and impact of his leadership brand, his legacy will continue to give life and inspire. And whether we are a fan of Prince or not, we can learn some significant things from him about how to build a rockstar brand from a deep, heart-centered place. Here are seven strategies to build a soulful, rockstar brand, a la Prince:
1. Develop your unique talent. Prince was born into a musical family and it’s safe to say that music was imbedded in his soul. By age 12, he developed his musical talents by learning to play 26 different instruments. From that point on, he defined himself by his strengths: the things that added value and inspired others. He developed a musical style that was all his own and was often described as “other worldly”. The lesson here is that we each need to discover what we’re truly good at and work to hone those specific skills. We must stand out and refuse to allow ourselves to be disregarded or pigeon-holed into a group or category where we don’t belong.
2. Turn your obstacles into opportunities. Prince played basketball in middle school, and although he was a good player, his 5’2’’ stature was a definite obstacle. But he didn’t let that stop him or keep him down. Instead, he used that rejection as fuel for his creative work. He channelled his energy into refining and making his music even better. Although rejection and failure can be painful, you can choose to shift gears and use that negative energy to inspire something positive and productive in your life and business. This is one of the keys of building a rockstar brand.
3. Decide how you want to be known. Beyond the obvious, Prince would probably be best described as a virtuoso, an advocate, and a prodigy. To build a rockstar brand in business, begin with the end in mind and work backwards. So how do you want to be known? Choose three brand attributes that you want to be known for, that represent you at your core. Then, develop a plan for how you will embody these aspects in your business.
4. Put your whole heart and soul into your work. Prince was known to give a stellar show each and every time he performed, regardless of the size of the crowd. This type of passion and work ethic became a staple in his brand, in addition to his flamboyant style and mysterious persona. Consider your deep passions and values and find ways to infuse them into your business. Put your whole heart and soul into building your leadership brand. Make it a representation of your authentic, unique self. If there’s one thing we can learn from Prince, it’s to not be afraid to showcase our unique style and personality!
5. Give something back. As an advocate and philanthropist, Prince gave back just as much as he received. It has been reported that he generously (and anonymously) contributed to charities and causes in his hometown and throughout the country. Prince was known to donate the proceeds from concert ticket sales back to the communities where they were held. If you want a true rockstar leadership brand, think of ways that you can give your time, talent, and money to charitable causes. This is a big brand-builder. Even better, contribute to charities anonymously, and when you do, watch your business brand soar off-the-charts!
6. Be your own advocate. When the music industry wanted to own the name that his parents gave him, Prince fought back by creating a new name, an unpronounceable symbol called a glyph. When he left the Warner Bros. label, he took ownership for promoting his own music by creating a website and strategically releasing his music. You must find a way to advocate for yourself, manage your brand and advertise your work on a platform that suits your style and personality. Always remember that you are in charge of your own brand and must speak up for yourself. It’s all too easy to get deterred from doing what’s best for ourselves because we feel inferior or embarrassed. You are your own PR agent, so leverage the best mediums that work for you such as networking, speaking, your website, LinkedIn, Twitter, Periscope, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Facebook.
7. Rock your power colors. Prince was also fondly called the “Purple one” for his signature brand color. From a psychological perspective, purple is the color of royalty, luxury and social status. It was worn by kings and aristocrats. Can you see how fitting for a man named Prince whose name implied royalty, to choose purple as one of his power colors? It truly represented his brand message. Purple is also the color that conveys inspiration and spirituality. The takeaway here is to consider your own story, brand message and persona. Choose colors that best showcase your brand with power and persuasion, and then use them consistently in your marketing.
8. Aim big. Prince may have been short in stature, but certainly not in ambition. He was not afraid to set his sights on big things. Before his death, he had the privilege and honor of being inducted in the Music Hall of Fame. Don’t settle for small goals if you really want something big. Without risk there are no rewards. So start expanding your horizons and thinking bigger. As Norman Vincent Peale said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
One of our biggest lessons from Prince is that a rockstar business brand is one that can’t be confined to a category, style or way of thinking. So seek to create a unique brand that inspires and lasts for a lifetime. Use these strategies to craft a business brand that not only sticks out in the minds and hearts of others, but truly shines. Live and lead a rockstar brand that inspires others to become more than they ever imagined!