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Brands That Rock: What Business Leaders Can Learn from the World of Rock and Roll

Brands That Rock: What Business Leaders Can Learn from the World of Rock and Roll

Roger Blackwell, Tina Stephan

ISBN: 978-0-471-48344-1

May 2004

256 pages



The unique ability of rock and roll to inspire fanatical support from its customers is undeniable; the loyalty showered upon the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Aerosmith, and others who create it, unmatched; and the lessons for corporate America, endless. In the past, business leaders have looked to the successes of other firms to guide their own strategies for increasing market share and capturing more consumer attention, spending, and loyalty. However, in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, managers are looking for ways to shake, rattle, and roll corporate America’s traditional marketing and branding mindset. In Brands That Rock, Roger Blackwell and Tina Stephan, co-authors of best-selling Customers Rule! and From Mind To Market, take readers behind the music to uncover how businesses can create brands that become adopted by culture and capture a long-term position in the marketplace. Brands That Rock takes a unique, behind-the-music look at how businesses can increase brand awareness, customer loyalty, and profits by implementing some of the same strategies that legendary bands have used to transform customers into fan and create deep, emotional connections with them. Aerosmith and Madonna offer insight into how to evolve a brand to remain relevant in the marketplace without alienating current fans, while the Rolling Stones and KISS prove that successful execution at all levels of the brand experience are key to capturing long-term loyalty. Stephan and Blackwell also examine how businesses, from Victoria’s Secret and Wal-Mart to Cadillac and Kraft, have implemented ‘rock and roll strategies’ to become adopted by culture and secure fans in their own right.  Filled with fun anecdotes and interviews from industry insiders, Brands That Rock will relate to managers who grew up with classic rock, showing them how build iconic brands, and delight fans decade after decade.

Roger D. Blackwell (Columbus, OH) is President of Roger Blackwell Associates, a consulting firm that works with Fortune 500 companies in the areas of consumer trends, strategy, e-commerce, and global business. A highly sought-after speaker, he is also Professor of Marketing at the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. Tina Stephan (Columbus, OH and New York, NY) is Vice President of Roger Blackwell Associates. Together, they have collaborated on eight books, including Customers Rule! and From Mind to Market, and numerous articles and research projects.

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1. From Band Loyalty to Brand Loyalty.

2. Creating Culturally Relevant Brands.

3. Elton John : Music Man, Marketing Man, Architect of a Brand.

4. KISS:  Keep it Simple, Stupid.

5. The Rolling Stones: Branding Strategies Beyond Satisfaction.

6. Aerosmith: Reinventing a Rock-and-Roll Brand. 

7. Madonna  and Neil Diamond: The Relevance of Sex in Branding.

8. Lessons from the Legends of Rock and Roll.



  • Roger Blackwell is the best-selling author of Customers Rule! and From Mind to Market, with a track record for marketing books popular in the academic world. His firm, Roger Blackwell Associates, is one of the most respected in the country, and his co-author is its Vice-President, as well as an experienced author in her own right. Blackwell remains in contact with his many former students, and has a database of over 60,000 that he will leverage at publication time.
  • The music industry has a unique ability to inspire fanatical loyalty in its consumers. This book, while providing valuable business lessons on brand loyalty and awareness, will also be an entertaining read, packed with the trade secrets of the world's most beloved bands.
  • Brands That Rock reveals a thirteen-step marketing plan for developing a deep connection with customers. The ultimate goal is to transform customers into true fans -- people willing to invest time attention, energy, emotion and money into building and maintaining their relationship with a brand.