A few weeks ago I shared some Starbucks Tribal Knowledge. One of the nuggets I shared was how Starbucks never intended to build a brand. Starbucks was too busy building a profitable and viable business to worry about branding. The lesson I learned from working inside Starbucks was you cannot create a brand before you create a business. The business creates a brand. The brand should never create the business.
Hmm … the brand should never create the business … hmm.
That’s exactly what I thought today when I heard the news Delta was shutting down Song Airlines — Song was all brand and no business.
Song was too busy creating a brand to think about being a business. Song was too busy crafting a brand ethos to think about being a business. Song was too busy prescribing feelings than to think about being a business. Song was too busy designing signature cocktails and installing boutique Song stores in SoHo (NYC) to think about being a business. And because Song was busy working on and working in its brand, they built a brand, of which, the by-product was the creation of a weak business.
Should this really surprise us? Song, after all, was built by marketers so it’s only natural the branding elements would come before the business elements.
I’ll throw this out to you … what will Song’s legacy be?