The Prince Brand, Prince passed away this past week to the dismay of many of his adoring fans. He was many things, an incredible musician, performer, humanitarian and icon. He was also a branding legend.
What made Prince such a celebrated musician and performer is also what made him an iconic brand.
Below are some of the ways Prince created a brand that was as iconic as his music.
The only thing predictable about Prince was his unpredictability. He was 5’4”, he wore outlandish outfits and women’s clothing and had hair styles unlike anyone else. He was a weirdo but an awesome one. People tuned in not just for his music but to see what he would do next. He changed his name to a symbol and got away with it. A music star with no phonetic way to pronounce his name. Who does that? Prince does. He took conformity and threw it in the trash.
Prince appealed across multiple generations. He was a pop superstar to one generation, the voice of spirituality to another, and the star of Dave Chappelle skits to another. He was relevant for over 30 years despite radical changes to his music. He was able to stay relevant long after his music did because people still loved Prince the brand.
The Color Purple
Prince IS purple. Purple outfits, purple rain. Purple everything. What other person on earth is so synonymous with a color that upon their death the Empire State building lights up in their color? We can’t think of any.
Prince was fascinating to people because he was mysterious and people LOVE mystery. You hear stories of his eccentricity. Whispers of what his life was life. His sexuality, religious beliefs, his name, his new name that was really a symbol and his affinity for purple and pancakes were all weird and intriguing. Just who was this guy? What made him tick? People always wanted to know more and Prince did a fabulous job of giving little pieces of himself without spoiling the mystery. It’s a tricky balancing act that he managed perfectly.
RIP Prince. You were many things to many people. To us you were the epitome of a great brand.
(We love Purple Rain too.)