From nothing to something: Here’s how one manager changed and marketed his brand to exceed all expectations. [Monday: Marketing Marvels]
Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
We’re excited to welcome another productive week.
Let’s talk about one of our “Marketing Marvels” in today’s article. Each Monday, we feature these professionals and discuss how they shape their respective passions in ways we don’t usually think about.
Today, we’ll focus on the manager who turned The Beatles from a no-name band to a world class group of 4 musicians.
Keep reading to know how this “Marvel” who had no prior experience in business and management defied all odds and made history in the music industry.
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute
Stylistic, humorous, and musically talented—these are some of the traits that pushed The Beatles into worldwide fame.
Did you know the band’s members were just 4 ordinary musicians who had to compete with over 300 Liverpool bands for recognition and success during the 1960s?
You might be wondering:
“How did the band stand out from the rest and ultimately become one of the best bands of all time?”
It only took one person’s risk-taking, intuition, and determination to make it possible.
That person is…
Photo courtesy of Variety
Epstein first discovered The Beatles in November 1961 when the band was performing at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.
According to Epstein during his first meeting with the band:
“When I met them [The Beatles], I was struck by their personal charm and it was there that it all started.”
Epstein’s innovative influence on the band began from that moment. Three months later, he convinced the group to work with him, and the 4 musicians (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best) agreed to sign him in as their manager.
From Leather Jackets and Jeans to Formal Coats and Trousers
Epstein’s decision to change the image of The Beatles was the group’s initial stepping stone to success. The band started with a rock’n’roll profile, reinforcing it with leather jackets and habits like smoking cigarettes and eating in the midst of a live performance. Epstein did not like this and felt it was detrimental to the band’s growth.
He wanted to make the band stand out from the many groups they were already competing with, and he also aspired to woo the younger crowds even more. To achieve this, Epstein dressed The Beatles in formal suits and proper haircuts, ditching their rebellious stage behaviors.
This was an accomplishment for both Epstein and The Beatles because it eventually built a well-established image for the band. This image then appealed to millions of teenagers, and Epstein realized the importance of marketing the band and its early romantic songs to the RIGHT audience.
Photo from Biography
Conquering America through Sharp Marketing Skills
Epstein was known for being a neophyte—a person who is new to a field or industry. In short, he had no prior knowledge in managing artists and exchanging deals with other individuals.
How did he even succeed if he was a neophyte?
Thanks to his unwavering commitment to guide The Beatles, he was able to secure the band a contract with Parlophone Records in London despite failing previous auditions for Decca Records and being rejected 4 times by Capitol Records.
The key takeaway here?
Epstein was determined enough to let his intuition prove The Beatles will be big one day even if nobody believed in him and the band just yet. He did not stop pursuing that goal despite early failures.
In 1963, the band’s lead single from their album of the same name, “Please Please Me,” reached the top spot of the U.K. charts. Epstein did not even hesitate to take advantage of this achievement by flying to the U.S. and meeting with Ed Sullivan, host of the Sunday evening variety program, “The Ed Sullivan Show,” to book the band a performance in the country.
That time, Epstein wanted Sullivan to let The Beatles perform in his variety show. The host granted the request but the ambitious manager immediately followed this with a risky appeal: The band should be at the top billing of the show even though they were not yet known in the U.S.
This agreement was a risk for both Epstein and Sullivan considering the U.S. music industry at the time was entirely influenced by American musicians. Pushing a foreign band like The Beatles to the top billing of the show was a big move…and one that would lead to an unexpected success.
One of the lessons you can learn from Epstein and Sullivan’s deal?
Persuasion and risk-taking can bring your goal to new heights.
After the agreement of premiering The Beatles in “The Ed Sullivan Show,” these happened:
- The Beatles made 2 more appearances in “The Ed Sullivan Show” (February 16 and 23, 1964).
- Unexpectedly, the British band’s first U.S. performance recorded around 73 million viewers.
- The American Beatlemania, which pertained to the sudden fanaticism and craze that surrounded the band in the western country, intensified.
- The Beatles’ continuous appearance in American shows paved the way for the British Invasion, the cultural phenomenon that saw U.K. bands and British culture progressively dominate America.
- The band’s early tracks inspired many young viewers to become musicians too.
Furthermore, Epstein’s agreement with Sullivan persuaded American record label Capitol Records and its former president Alan Livingston to spend USD 40,000 in promoting The Beatles’ new love song, “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” This enabled more American listeners to discover the British band.
Epstein was well-aware of the young audiences who were constantly paying to see his band perform… and with famous tracks like “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “All My Loving,” and “P.S. I Love You,” and lyrics incorporating first-person perspective, The Beatles stuck to one of Epstein’s best strategies in creating their songs: Connect with the people’s hearts and keep up with the trends of the society.
If it wasn’t for Epstein, The Beatles might not have gained this global recognition. Epstein may have spent only a short period in managing the band (from 1962 until his death in 1967), but he made the most out of those years in guiding the musicians to worldwide success.
What’s more surprising is he did all of those without any extensive knowledge in management and business! How mindblowing is that?
Today, he is known as the “Fifth Beatle” alongside Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr (previously Pete Best) because of the contributions he made with the band. The Beatles also remains as one of the greatest bands of all time.
We hope you learned a lot from today’s “Marketing Marvels!”
Epstein was not afraid to go out of his comfort zone by doing something he had never done before. He even saw a potential that other people couldn’t see in The Beatles.
Sure, being a neophyte is an unconventional way to pursue your goals in an entirely new field, but Epstein is proof that you don’t have to be a complete expert in a certain field to achieve what you want.
By sticking to your guts and doing your best in marketing your brand, you might find success like how the marvelous manager did.
Have a great start to the week!
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Monday Marketing Marvels”
Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some brand or company’s marketing strategy.
… only for the audience to later find out that its product was a flop, or worse, that the brand or company went bankrupt.
The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole.
What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?
At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the roles of marketing and communication are always paramount to that success.
Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies, marketers, and communicators.
However, the difference between our articles and the numerous ones out there is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group) in keeping with a person’s leadership skills in the area of marketing and/or communication.
We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.
Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next week’s Monday Marketing Marvels!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
Powered by Valens Research