2011 is the 20th anniversary year of Pearl Jam’s debut album Ten. Over the last 20 years Pearl Jam has not only built themselves up to be an incredibly popular and enduring band, they’ve built one of the best brands in music history. Branding isn’t something you necessarily think of for musicians, but it is closely related to reputation, which certainly does apply.
Pearl Jam the band has been equalled in success recently by Pearl Jam the business. The Pearl Jam business has a few core values that should apply to all companies, from mom & pops to startups to enterprises.
Stick To Your Core Values
Pearl Jam has always been fairly reserved in the number of interviews they grant and in media exposure in general. They long ago stopped doing traditional music business routines such as music videos and prolonged world tours. Instead, the band chooses to take things on their own terms, making sure that media commitments and touring disrupts their family lives as little as possible.
Every business should understand what its core values are and stick to them at all costs. You don’t want to be known for something and then one day decide to change course, potentially alienating your customer base.
Innovation As A Way of Life
Pearl Jam has been quite innovative, particularly in the last 10 years. In 2000 they began releasing every live concert as an official bootleg available for purchase. This was unheard of in the music industry, releasing up to 30-40 official albums in a year. They have self-released studio albums, re-released albums with tons of bonus content, and more.
In much the same way, businesses should always be looking for innovative ways to service customers and generate revenue. True purple cow thinking gets attention.
Take Care of Your Fans
Pearl Jam’s greatest strength is its devotion to fans. The band does more for its fans than just about anyone else. Fans are able to buy concert tickets before the general public, get discounts on purchases, exclusive newsletters, yearly gifts, a dedicated radio station, and more.
It goes without saying that taking care of your customers is good for business, but truly excelling at customer service can take you to another level of success. There are countless examples of customer oriented companies, like Zappos, that are as well-known for their service as they are their merchandise. Strive every day to make your customers your biggest fans.