What Can ASE’s Learn from “Popping Tags”?

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ song “Thrift Shop” has undeniably been one of the biggest, in-your-face hits of 2013 to date. I admit, even I bought “Thrift Shop” to use for my ringtone—heck, “it was just ninety-nine cents.” And not just because my kids thought it was cool. There was no escaping popping some tags once I heard “that” sax, “those” lyrics, and “that” melody. Once I received “that” message, saw “their” video, and pumped-up the “what-what, what, what” volume in my car. Sold!

Their 1) message (anthem), 2) humor (fun), 3) clever approach (different), 4) video delivery (visual), and 5) stamina (5th single before breaking-big) resonated with me personally. Not just because I love everything about branding and business, and not just because I’m a songwriter and an artist. But truly personally. The “Thrift Shop” anthem and all. Depending on financial circumstances in life, and/or for overall vintage-cool reasons, I have visited many thrift shops at one time or another, and I have donated to many for more than just the tax write-off. Hooray for the gently worn!

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

As well, the country was coming out of the residual effects of the 2008 market crash when it was knee-deep in rising unemployment rates, and experiencing increased home foreclosures from Cali to Florida and back—so it wasn’t just me that felt the pull of the “Goodwill” anthem. Lots of people were newly broke, and many others were old-ly broke. Wow, what a smash hit. “Thrift Shop” was ripe for market entry, the masses ate it up “grandpa-style.” They didn’t even know they needed it. T-Minus Late? Nope. T-minus perfect timing.

So what types of things go into making a hit, making something memorable, and making a product truly stick?

Well, beyond just having a magical moment, there are actually some key, identifiable elements to creating hit songs, and to carving out a successful (and profitable) business:

5 Marketing Tips from “How to Score the Next BIG Hit: 5 Marketing Tips From Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop”:

1. It’s a Single. (“Thrift Shop” was the 5th Single. Not the first. i.e. Work at it.)

2. It’s Different. (Be different. Truly, different. Stand out from the crowd.)

3. It’s Fun. (Don’t take yourself too seriously. Find the humor in life and be able to laugh at yourself.)

4. It’s an Anthem. (“Thrift Shop” was a concept song with a clear and focused message. If your message isn’t clear, fuh-gett-a-boutit.)

5. It’s Visual. (We’re in a YouTube world, so make it stunning. Please!)

“And it was ninety-nine cents! Bag it.”

Cheers and Cold Beers!

KB, that’s Me.