How To Avoid A Branding Sting

By Dr. John Tantillo, - In Marketing

A Picture of multi award winning Sting

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Every year is full of winners and losers in the world of business. Whether your business has won and lost there is always something to be learnt. So over the coming week or so we will be looking through 2014’s brand winners and losers. We will consider what each business has done well, can improve on and most importantly the branding lessons that we can all learn from as we go into 2015.

At number five in my brand list is the multi award-winning musician Sting.


Sting is a brand that demands respect. With his estimated wealth of about 280 million along with his 25 American Music Awards, 11 Grammy’s and not to mention his 75 award nominations, it’s reassuring to know that even the successful sometimes miss the marketing and branding boat!

You see earlier this year Sting had this project he wanted to share with his fans—his life in song. A brilliant idea on paper. So he went to work writing songs for this exciting venue. What better way for this musical artist to tell his life story but through his medium— music. It was his brand. And oh yes, he would not perform. He did not want to distract from this personal experience. What could go wrong.

After writing the songs for the play,
surviving opening night and then getting mixed reviews
a great accomplishment for a Broadway outsider to receive,
audiences didn’t show.

A friend then told him the honest truth. He said,
“Sting, no one cares about your life, they want to hear you sing.”
You see, Sting got stung by what we all often miss
it’s not about you; it is rather all about your customer!

Many of us believe that we have thee answer in solving a consumer or business need. The real issue may be, that we, like Sting are the only ones interested in the product (or service) that we want to market and that others don’t care. Even Michael Corleone in Godfather II understood this when he said to his “consigliere, Tom Hagen: “Try To Think the way the people around you think and on that basis anything is possible.” Solid advice for entrepreneurs to heed.

The good news is that Sting has acted proactively. He will be appearing in his show, The Last Ship from Dec 9 through Jan 10. A smart marketing move which can remind us that it is always easier when you have marketing and branding in mind!

Branding Editor

Branding and Marketing Expert, Speaker, and teacher who writes about branding