Yesterday, Gene Simmons of KISS landed in Toronto for Advertising Week Canada. Yeah, that’s right, and he wasn’t in town for a concert nor did he wear make up. Instead he talked about what it took to build his iconic brand over the years.
It is a rare event to have someone who helped define a generation come and talk about what it took to brand it, but I guess the make up helps to make them stand apart. They are a band, a brand, an institution and they have more gold records than the Beatles and Elvis and he imparted his wisdom to marketing professionals and fans alike.
So what do advertising and Gene Simmons of KISS have to do with each other is that many brands seek the kind of community, passion that KISS Gene Simmons represents. He spent the first half of the evening talking about what he has been through over the years and what led him to his success.
So without getting into all the details, the biggest takeaways from the event, besides the fact that his fans are a great eclectic bunch was that you need to choose the right partners and trademark your brand. He said that is the basis of what sets you apart, that and use your name in your branding to serve as the signal that marks the way for the ships to follow as they search for the port home.
At the cocktail party after the event, Gene Simmons provided all the fans moment with the audience before moving to his next conquest for the evening. His business advice was simple, but based on the success of building his own brand from the ground up and that makes the difference between what you listen to versus what is just talk.