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What can we learn from 'Brand Liam'

Liam Gallagher, former front man of UK rock ‘n’ roll band Oasis, released his debut solo album this month.

The week the album launched it was outselling all the top UK 20 combined and became the fastest selling album of 2017 behind Ed Sheeran.

Vinyl sales are on the up again in the music business and Gallagher had the largest one-week vinyl album sales in more than 20 years.

What really caught my eye with this album was the make-up of sales. 91% of his sales were physical purchases and paid for digital downloads, streaming accounted for the remaining 9%. I don’t have the exact figures for Ed Sheeran, but I believe physical sales of his album in the first week accounted for approximately 60% with streaming making up the remaining 40%.

Going behind the music, and looking at the business behind brand Liam Gallagher, or LG as he refers to himself, what lessons can we as entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and small business owners learn from him; after all, he and his band Oasis were always known to rebuff the mainstream and take alternative roads to becoming one of the UK’s biggest rock ‘n’ roll bands since the Beatles.

Pre-Album Launch:

  • Target marketing and use of brand track-record: Utilising his previous life as Oasis frontman, Gallagher embarked on a global festival circuit tour as a solo artist with a play-list that combined three or four new tracks alongside better known Oasis hits. The festivals chosen all had a rock edge to them. Targeting the right market place for Gallagher.

  • Combining social and traditional media: The build-up phase was combined with some interviews with the music press. The interviews were far from bland promotion of his new up and coming album. Often his interviews would centre on a recent controversial, humorous and typically outspoken tweet recently made by Gallagher. This gold dust for any interviewer I am sure generated further demand for Gallagher.

  • Engagement with your audience: A quick scroll through Gallagher’s Twitter account shows the high level of engagement he has cultivated, with each tweet generating hundreds and thousands of comments, with he himself often entering into the discussions and debate he generates.

  • Brand awareness: What stood to me as a Brand Specialist was Gallagher’s use of a specific phrase at the end of every tweet, and soon billboards started to appear with this phrase too.

As You Were LGx

Pre-Album Launch Sales:

After the pre-album launch activity, Gallagher released global tour dates and put tickets on sale. At this point we learnt that name of the unreleased Album and Tour – As You Were.

  • Brand Image, Brand Consistency: Imagery and advertising for the album and tour was clean and clear simply featuring Gallagher, in his trade-mark parker jacket. I use a quote from Gallagher himself here, “if you’ve got it, flaunt it”, and flaunt it he has. I have yet to see an interview without Gallagher appearing in a parker jacket, even in the sweltering heat of China.

  • Joined-up sales strategy: Linked to the purchase of tickets to the tour was the opportunity to purchase the album for its launch date in October. This included the opportunity to buy a deluxe box set, including two designed vinyl records, the download, CD and a beautifully produced book with unseen photos and unique artwork. Purchasers got an immediate download of the four singles from the album but had to wait for the launch date for their full album. This approach certainly contributed to that make-up of sales figure I mentioned at the beginning.

  • Generating a buzz from your customers: During the months selling the tour, Liam Gallagher and his team arranged for all box sets and albums to arrive on the day of the Album launch. Excellent supply chain management. This generated massive online buzz and reviews from fans all on one day. Who do we trust these days? Professional reviewers or our peers?

Since the launch of the album, Gallagher has upped his interview appearances. Although now in demand from more mainstream channels, he has maintained his focus targeted on the music press, where he knows his fans are, and which add to his counter-culture brand image.

We have seen clips of Gallagher and tweets going viral. One clip was simply Gallagher making a cup of tea. If you are your brand, even making a cup of tea, as a rock ‘n’ roll star, can get you exposure.

Gallagher ran a great campaign and because of this I am not surprised he has hit the number 1 spot.

Those of you who are regular listeners to the SheBuildsBrands Show, you will know my music preference for pop over rock ‘n’ roll, but Liam Gallagher has produced a great album that can connect with those of us who might not be regular rockers. How very Oasis!

As You Were Sophie x

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