“Devilish” is the ancient name of the Tokio Hotel rock music group. Launched in 2001 when the leader Bill Kaulitz was only 12. The group saw a impressive increase since 2005 with its name change, and the first records of original songs.
Since then, the band never saw a strong decrease in popularity. In the way people either love or hate a very notorious person, the public either loved or hated Tokio Hotel. However, as the media mainly wrote positive criticism, the group always managed to keep a strong and reliable audience.
People love them, and the fact that they have taken 5 years to write a double-versioned album, or that their last one was released in 2014 does not have a huge impact on their notoriety: Tokio Hotel is still in their fans hearts’ and in their haters’ mind.
To reach over 200,000 copies sold and a platinum disc for a first album at age 16, Tokio Hotel must have had an outstanding music, an outstanding marketing, or both. In business, only outstanding companies who managed to give value, and uniqueness to their brand achieved success. If you agree to consider a music group as a brand, Tokio Hotel is the perfect example.
Whilst their music was nothing outstanding, the image they gave, and the triggered emotions linked to it made them reach the top at a very young age.
Not to discuss whether it is a good or a bad thing, when you want something others’ possess, and are the only ones to be able to grant you, you have to attend the competition of getting what you want – a job, an apartment, a spouse – and market yourself. Branding is about the same thing, and neither Tokio Hotel nor your business makes an exception.
Whether you like their music or not, whether you know them or not, these four german boys managed to reach some significant level of notoriety, and as a marketer, you should be curious enough to read further. Try it on.
The Tokio Hotel Success
First of all, we can all agree that Tokio Hotel stands out thanks to their outfits. Their gothic appearance suited their rebellious aspect, and made young teenagers relate to them. Tokio Hotel appeared at the millennial’s beginning. The start of a whole new era – especially the Internet era – made the kids evolving in it feel lost, and rebellious. Automatically, the group appeared as a modern Nirvana or Beatles. In fact, Tokio Hotel almost naturally appeared as the Millennials’ rebellious movement, where the eccentricity was at core screaming ‘notice us, your teenagers, your kids. Your instability, the World’s instability is disturbing us too‘.
If Tokio Hotel was a former rock band during the 2000s, their latest album showed a strong influence from the current electro and pop songs. Bill and Tom are changing with their community: from rebellious teenagers, they become ‘party-hard’ adults. A strong part of their current success, or at least famousness, is simply about the large fan-base they had 10 years ago. Whilst some fans are leaving their Tokio Hotel love in the past, others continue to keep track of the band’s projects. Also, a new audience is building itself. With such image change, modern kids and adults are keener to follow a new overwhelming wave of success.
Tokio Hotel sings a generation’s traumas. In a society where divorce rate only seems to increase, and where love becomes unreachable; in a connected world where solitude, anxiety, and suicide rate seem to have reached their climax, Tokio Hotel’ songs happen to be more than appealing. They grew up in this crazy world, and built up themselves with and against it. Just like anyone, of course, the only (and quite big) difference being that they managed to create something out of it.
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Although the group is placed at the top, its members still manage to have consideration for their fans. As an example, the concert originally planned on the 20th of June 2008 in France was postpone later because on this date, French students were sitting their final exam in order to receive their high school diploma. Therefore, Tokio Hotel took in account the situation and asked for a change.
Such concern for fans actually makes the difference from a newsworthy point of view, and is worth it: it gives a positive image.
What Your Marketing Can Learn From It
Image is everything
In the business field, image is everything. It don’t matter how high quality your products are, or how much effort you put into it, if the image you give does not look attractive, and does not trigger customers’ interest, then you are doing it wrong. Success in business is actually achieved by outstanding companies, who managed to give value, and uniqueness to their brand.
When building a company, not only are you trying to figure out what you will be selling, or how you will do so, you are also creating your business an identity. It is your business’ core value, the purpose, the ‘why’ question. Why is your business relevant? Why is it outstanding? Why and how will it make the difference?
With the answers to these questions, you start building a draft of your brand’s ‘personality’, which is what really makes the difference between you, and any of your competitors.
Change is a must
You must evolve with your audience. Society changes everyday, and what makes the beauty of marketing is this exact challenge of being able to stay relevant in this messy, and constantly changing world.
You must constantly adapt yourself, and your marketing to your audience as society is perpetually changing. However, dramatical change must not become a habit for your company – the risk being a total identity loss.
Keep your core values and make something new out of them every once in a while. Keep a linear campaign for a couple of months or years, and when you figure out it is not relevant anymore, change it.
Emotions are not to be left out
Your ability to change your customers’ life in some way is what will make them remember you. Did you manage to make them reminisce past feelings? Did you manage to make them want – as a spontaneous need – your product? All of these aspects will change your way to relate to your customers.
More than your product’s usefulness, you want your customers to experience its use, making it special. You want to give them positive feelings, smiles, and well-being. To do so, you must appeal to their emotions, making them want and need your product. It is not a matter of being practical – meaning you are targeting your customer’s mind – but a matter of being essential – targeting your customer’s heart, and feelings.
Customer satisfaction is not to be neglected
Your one goal every time you work with a client should be to work for your client. After all, without any customers, your business would not exist. Of course, a business’ core purpose is to make profit. However, being pleasant, and respectful to your clients is a + which will help you grab more positive attention.
Hate-bait may seem attractive when you scroll through Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, but positive feedback is a much more rewarding result for the hard work you put into your business.
Tokio Hotel is one example in a million.
Notoriety is reached when one can stand out. Keeping up with a positive image, helping out your customers, enhancing feelings in your marketing campaigns, and making something new out of the old are tips that can greatly help you in developing your business.
Stay aware about our current economy’s constant change, and relate to it in a unique, and eccentric way. As Tokio Hotel would say: ‘Let them know you’re not just anyone‘.
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