The most powerful brand in music: Jimmy Buffett

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

6 August 2012

The brand reaches into restaurants, locations and images of the mind

Picture this: In the throes of a stifling summer, you pile a cooler filled with ice-cold drinks into the back of the car. Add an umbrella, beach towel, blanket, boogie board, lotion and a few good reads, and you’re off! Off to Margaritaville with Jimmy Buffett!

As you head for the coast, your mind races ahead to the sound of the surf, the warmth of the sun on your shoulders, and that first plunge into the ocean.

It’s a day in paradise and just what you need. Funny thing is, “paradise” comes with a soundtrack.

The music of Jimmy Buffett.

“Beyond that, his musical brand evokes a place and a time of year, not to mention a style of dress and type of cuisine.”


Jimmy BuffettIn my opinion, Jimmy Buffett has the strongest brand in music. It’s that unique market position that makes his music as vital today as it ever was. Once you hear the title, Margaritaville, the images (and beer) start flowing.

You see, Jimmy Buffett’s music owns a feeling — that of escapism. Beyond that, his musical brand evokes a place and a time of year, not to mention a style of dress and type of cuisine. What’s more, Buffett’s powerful brand is backed by a fervent group of believers — the Parrotheads.

There have always been droves of die-hard fan bases in the music industry. Jam band faithful such as the Grateful Dead’s “Deadheads” and Phish’s “Phish Heads” come to mind. However, neither the Dead nor Phish — while successful bands — have come close to the all-encompassing sense of brand in Buffet’s music.

So, as I sit here daydreaming of my own vision of beach paradise, it’s not surprising that I can also hear an acoustic guitar playing the opening lines “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.”

Maybe I’m a Parrothead too?

And as I bite into my cheeseburger, I am suddenly reminded of the sheer power of brand once again.

See more posts in the following related categories: branding artists branding musicians Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville parrot heads


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