News (and Umphrey’s) on Hold?

Posted by | March 16, 2011 | General | 2 Comments

Brand loyalty is incredibly important.  It’s what ensures repeat sales.  More importantly, it ensures growth.  Brand loyalists are likely both to make purchases and to evangelize the brands they love, helping their brand spread its reach.

Few brands generate such deep loyalty that they can take breaks and come back just as strong or stronger.  Performing artists are the quintessential example of this phenomenon.  Bands release albums and tour only when they want to (or when their label demands it), sometimes taking years off between albums or tours.  Oftentimes, the longer a band waits between offerings, the more we clamor for what they are selling.  Maybe more rare means more valuable, emotionally as well as monetarily.

So what’s up with TV programs that take random weeks off at a time?  Often.  Together.  Always.

Yes . . .

These show’s vacations seems strange for news programs, even comedic satirical programs frequently based on hilarious yet terrifying news clips from other media outlets.  The news never takes a week off, but the Best F#@cking News Team Ever does.  Frequently.

They can.  They do.  They will.  And we will continue to watch.  Why?  Because their programming is awesome!  They make our frighteningly screwed up world funny and we take comfort in that.  At least I do.

So, back to bands, I witnessed this same phenomenon on Facebook today with a band named Umphrey’s McGee.  Umphrey’s canceled a show at Crystal Bay Casino (CBC) at Lake Tahoe tonite due to “weather conditions.”  The band’s website announces the cancellation with humor and apologies.  It all sounds reasonable enough.  Except: this is the THIRD show Umphrey’s canceled in Tahoe due to “weather conditions.”  Umphrey’s had three days off between its last show and today yet chose to wait till today, day-of-show, to “try” to drive to Lake Tahoe.

Having canceled shows twice before due to snow, Umphrey’s should have known to come to Tahoe earlier.  Umphrey’s could have carried snow chains so it could cross the mountain pass.  Umphrey’s could have waited till the road re-opened only a couple hours after they announced the cancellation on their website.  Umphrey’s could just skip scheduling winter shows in Tahoe since the cancellation rate is so high.

I did not participate in the 169-post discussion about the cancellation on Umphrey’s Facebook page because I’d have to “Like” Umphrey’s to do so and right now I don’t.  Will I buy their next album?  Yes.  Will I buy another concert ticket?  So long as it’s not for a show anywhere that it might snow in the winter.  Umphrey’s is a rockin’ band that shakes the house and I will pay for that even after they abandon me on a snowy Sierra summit.  B(r)and loyalty.

When you’re outstanding at what you do, you command brand loyalty even if you take lots of vacations, cancel your concerts, or screw up occasionally.  The key is you have to be exceptional.  Otherwise, people may well lose interest or publicly attack your brand, neither of which will help its growth.

About Lara

Lara Pearson is a trademark attorney with Exemplar, where she also serves as the firm's Sustainability Steward. Lara's legal practice focuses on trademark and copyright law, including: intellectual property audits; trademark search & clearance; trademark and copyright registration & maintenance; intellectual property transfers; transactional work; and dispute resolution, including litigation when necessary. Lara primarily represents other social enterprises -- those leveraging their businesses and brands as catalysts for positive social and environmental change. Such businesses engage in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) to have a positive "triple bottom line" of people, planet and profit. As Exemplar's Sustainability Steward, Lara works with others in her law firm to measure and reduce the firm's carbon emissions and encourage engagement in social responsibility initiatives, including pro bono legal work and volunteering. Lara is a proud member of the Social Venture Network. Brand Geek is a member of 1% for the Planet and a Certified B Corporation, whose Incline Village office is certified under the regional Keep the Sierra Green program. Exemplar Companies is the most innovative professional services firm in the New Economy. Our unique, diversified expertise spans the disciplines of corporate law, business advisory, and capital/investment banking to better meet the needs of our high-potential customers. We have assembled a comprehensive suite of service to meet the complex issues facing companies in today’s challenging business environment. Our unique, holistic approach ensures the growth and success – and greatly increases the competitive advantage - of our customers. The Exemplar team is comprised of knowledgeable, highly skilled experts in a wide range of industries and disciplines. They work closely with our customers to provide trusted advice, incomparable support, expert guidance and the ultimate competitive advantage as they accelerate their businesses and position themselves to transform industries.


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