I went to the Bette Midler concert with my aunt last week. And I.loved.it. I’ll even admit that I’ve seen her before, and this time was even better. She’s the original triple threat who can STILL sing, dance, and act (and curse;). After the concert, my aunt went on and on about how she still “has it!”
My marketing brain thought, yeah Bette’s like a good brand (we’re not on a first name basis, but one can pretend). Stay with me here. She’s been in the industry for a long time, yet she had a pretty packed house at the Wells Fargo Center last Tuesday. Here’s my reasoning:
1. Bette Understood Anticipation – The concert was scheduled to start at 8pm with no opening act. The Divine Miss M didn’t grace us with her presence until 8:30. Like a good brand (Apple anyone?) Bette knew we’d want her even more if we had to wait, and then she delivered on all the hopes and desires we had for her show.
Apple is the master at this anticipation marketing principle. They leek information about their latest product and its features, and then they only make a certain amount of product available so consumers go crazy in anticipation and desire. Apple knows they can do this because their products payoff in the end. If people had to wait for a product that disappointed, that allure would fade quickly.
2. Bette Stayed Consistent and True to Herself – Bette’s known for her humor, (sometimes raunchy) and for not just singing, but PERFORMING. She doesn’t stand on stage with a microphone and sway back and forth. She struts her stuff, dances, and paces back and forth quickly. She showcased the quick wit and perfect timing she’s known for. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s seen her in concert before, and I’m also sure that if she decided to stand there and sing without all the fanfare, I would not be the only one disappointed.
Businesses have branding and logos to signal to customers that it’s them and not a competitor. The logo is a sign to trust that brand that you are familiar with. When you go to Disney World, you know that you are getting - family, fun, & entertainment. There are vibrant colors and happy people and little Micky ears everywhere ensuring you that you are at the happiest place on earth.
3. Bette Showed Relevance – Yes, Bette was consistent, but that doesn’t mean she was boring and stale. She showed relevance and modernized herself by doing an entire bit on social media (complete with background stage set-up of all social media logos) and a hilarious bit on the Kardashians (complete with pictures of Bette in bed with random famous men…Dick Chaney, Richard Nixon, Vladimir Putin -to name a few) It was very entertaining and a play on the Kim Kardashian sex tape.
Good brands know people like consistency in their products and services, but this doesn’t mean they don’t want them modernized or updated. When you buy that New Balance sneaker, you know you’re getting a shoe that will help you run, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want their new shoe with the latest technology to help you run even better.
4. Bette Looked Like Bette – There were feathers, sequins, and costumes because it was a Bette Midler concert! Come on, we expect feathers, and we expect costumes and impersonations. Relating to the consistency in performance, Bette was consistent in appearance. If she came out on stage in a goth frock, there would be a good shock factor, but it just wouldn’t feel right. Instead she came out in a chicken costume, her Hocus Pocus witch outfit, and a pink sequined dress, amongst others. If you know Bette’s shtick, none of this should shock you.
People freak when their orange juice brand identity changes (Tropicana anyone?), so it’s a good thing that she’s still the same old Bette. (Not old old, you know what I mean). Just like when you walk into an Olive Garden, you know you’re getting Italian food, you want to go to a concert and know you’re seeing the performer you want to see.
5. Bette Gave the Crowd What They Wanted – At the end of the night, when you thought Bette just couldn’t perform another dance routine or beautiful song, she sang her two most well-known songs and the crowd was loving every bit of it -Wind Beneath My Wings, and Buggy Woogy Bugle Boy. This falls under the “give them what they want” principle. At one point, Bette looked up in the stands and talked about the “main-liners” sitting in the boxes. And Philadelphians went wild because they LOVE references to their city.
Ecommerce brands should pay close attention to what’s selling and ensure the most popular items are in stock. GAP may have a huge initiative to sell the latest pair of skinny jeans, but if people are on their site to buy a white t-shirt, they better have the white t-shirt stocked, and stocked in all sizes. Brands want to keep evolving and acquiring new clients, but they should also put some effort into keeping their loyal base happy. This will help retention rates and satisfied customers. (Like this concert go-er who plans to see Bette again and again while she’s still going strong!)