Monetising Quality

…So the challenges, I guess, are to get good at predicting ‘great’ before the market takes action, and to be clear with yourself and your colleagues about what exactly you’re trying to build.

Seth Godin is writing about monetising art, but he may as well have been talking about TV programming, film making or the music industry.

After all, the great decline in the record companies isn’t because of piracy, MP3s or anything like that – it’s about really, really bad A&R. Back in the old days, people LOVED music. Now the music industry is filled with middle of the road marketers and brand managers.

People who really, really love music and have “good ears” have been driven out or now work in management, venue operators or tour promoters; the only parts of the industry which are now booming!

The thing is – quality doesn’t scale. Never has, never will.

Dolce & Gabbana’s bad, bad move

D&G have had to pull an ad which seems to portray a man raping a woman while his mates look on.

Well… That’s what the media are saying.

The problems are thus:
1. D&G went on the front foot and tried to claim that Spain and the media of other countries that complained were “behind the times” in their portrayals of lust and seduction.

2. Then they realised that overall, people wre pretty unimpressed with the ad, which led to them having to do a MASSIVE about face – which means they lost face. And they withdrew the ad.

3. Which made them look out of touch.

4. The other issue is that it’s fine to upset old fogeys and traditional media if you want to appeal to the kids, but only AS LONG AS YOU APPEAL TO THE KIDS. If you piss EVERYONE off, then you’ve achieved nothing. If it’s cool and pisses off the oldies, it reinforces the brand. If it’s not cool and pisses off the oldies, you’ve just given the oldies a free kick against your brand, which the kids would HATE, as it makes “their brand” look out of touch.

Now D&G have to face up to a boycott of the company’s products by the Italian Textile union, the CGIL. Big headaches.