We watch the Voice each week. It is fun and entertaining. The interesting thing is each singer has the same challenges as small businesses – what is their brand? Each singer has to determine what will make them “unique”. Of course we can all think of singers who are unique. There will never be another Cher, Aretha, Johnny Cash, Rob Zombie, etc. Crooners will come and go but we’ll still buy Christmas music sung by Bing Crosby, Dean Martin and Vaughn Monroe (what? You don’t have Vaughn Monroe? You are totally missing out!!!). So as a new voice on the block, how do you identify what makes you unique?
You might say everything has been done. The clothes, the hair, the makeup and tattoos, the women who sing low, the men who sing high, we’ve heard it all. And then you watch a show like the Voice and suddenly you can’t put some of them into a category. This one sings Billy Joel but can’t do justice to it because he doesn’t understand the musicality of the song. Another does Whitney Houston and nails it. Someone else sings Bonnie Raitt and makes me sad because I love the song and not the rendition. But I’m not sitting there thinking, “she sounds just like (fill in the blank)”. They have found a way to be unique in a sea of singers.
How do they do it? First, they work with a coach who knows about the industry. Whatever you think about them, these people know how to show off talent. They work with the individuals to capitalize on their individuality. Second, they know their audience. One very young guy sings Billy Joel to a young woman on the steps of the stage. He’s cute – think his audience cares what the song is about? Not to mention, think his audience has any clue who Billy Joel is? Another wants to appeal to an older crowd but have them embrace his unusual style so he picks a song that makes us go, “wait! I know this! What is it?” and we have to wait for the chorus. It is all about targeting YOUR buyers. Third, they tailor the show or the visible marketing to support their message. “I’m cute boy” stands on the stage alone with the woman he sings to making all the tweens wish they were her. And dial their phones and download music. “Mr. Unusual” has a big set of fire and people stomping around. He evokes images of big stage shows we went to in the 80s and gets the beat going. Some of the shows are easy to get caught up in and you forget what you are hearing.
So each singer has to come up with something they can showcase to be different. And the world watches them compete with other singers right there at the same time. They get to do direct comparisons and vote immediately after the show. How stressful would that be? Imagine if your marketing had to be in a room with your competition right next door and clients making decisions among all of you on the spot! Even if you are confident you would come out on top, it would still be stressful. So, how are YOU different? How do you pick the right “song”? How do you put on the show to connect with your audience?
Oh – and one more thing. Light up teeth are cool but if they make you lisp, don’t do it. The product / song should come first. I now don’t know what it sounds like to buy it!