Posted by Andrew VanderPloeg
Last night I had the privilege of seeing a NeedToBreathe concert in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Being a tour based on the recent release of their album The Outsiders, this (Christian) rock-style band from South Carolina got on stage in a bar in a University town and sang a number of songs from their new record that contain both the challenges and the hope of the Gospel in them.
Musically speaking, their live performance remained true to their sound as they did an excellent job of maintaining consistency with the recording as all the songs were played as you’d hear them on the disc.
Being a vocalist myself, I was especially impressed with the lead singer’s voice. I had seen some YouTube videos of the bands live performances earlier in the week so I already had a sense of the fact that they could take the music they had recorded and perform it live as it is on the CD without having to rely on tracked vocals.
The most impactful moment of the night was at the very end of the night, after a long set of high quality musicianship with no breaks, the whole band unplugged every instrument, stepped away from the mics, asked the audience to be really quiet and then proceeded to perform a song called “Something Beautiful”, completely acoustic.
So what does this have to do with marketing and communications?
Well, as I sit at my desk this afternoon (admittedly somewhat groggy after a very late night), one of the few things that’s clear in my mind is that I’m struck by the truth that we don’t always have to be “plugged in” to do “Something Beautiful”.
In one of his posts on this blog last week, Brian outlined that quality is one of the four pillars of branding. But let’s be clear about the fact that quality doesn’t always translate directly to bells-and-whistles. Sometimes, the best choice is to strip all the gloss away - to show that the quality you seek to communicate - comes from a base that is in and of itself based on quality…based on something beautiful.
Loads of bands that hit the top 10 these days couldn’t afford to unplug like NeedToBreathe can…our experience tells us that on a similar level, lots of ministry and non-profit organizations can’t afford to “unplug” either.
So the question for you today is: When all the polish and glitz is removed, does your brand come through as something beautiful or does it reflect an organization that has tried to gloss over all its imperfections? If the latter is the case, you start to get into issues with one of the other pillars of branding…honesty.
Let’s all aim to create organizations that are at heart something beautiful and then strategically communicate them in ways that do that beauty justice.