Van Halen: A Brand That Lives On
Millions around the world are saddened by the recent passing of rock n roll legend, Eddie Van Halen. Over the years, the Van Halen band has achieved worldwide album sales of over $96 million with all but one of its albums hitting Number Six or better on the charts. Outstanding success by any means.
Van Halen was more than a band; it was a BRAND. One that offered constant quality, volume, excitement, and attitude. Eddie Van Halen showed us what it takes to build a lasting brand, and many businesses today can learn from his example.
To have consistent branding, a business must hold true to its core values, vision and principles. Branding that stays consistent even when a company undergoes change, shows consumers who you are and what you stand for. Consistency results in a brand that people will trust and loyally follow.
Even with three different lead singers, Van Halen created a distinctive sound and brand consistency over the years. With his dedicated leadership as CEO, Eddie Van Halen acted consistently on decisions and maintained control from behind the guitar. Eddie Van Halen grew his brand and fan base by showing consistency and staying true to the original vision of the Van Halen band. Van Halen was always about the music and never wavered from producing awesome rock n roll.
It is essential that your brand has the ability to evolve and take risks to stay relevant. Testing organizational limits is part of understanding your brand’s full potential. Van Halen had three different lead singers over the years which proved the band’s ability to evolve and continue to grow a loyal fan base. While replacing the iconic lead singer David Roth with Sammy Hagar was a risk for the band, Van Halen music continued to soar high on the US charts (all four of Van Hagar Albums hit #1).
In 2009, Van Halen was able to capture an entirely new audience with the release of Guitar Hero’s: Van Halen. Now that teenagers thought listening to Van Halen was cool, it opened a whole new landscape for the band. This new fan base purchased music, tickets, merchandise, and helped Van Halen reach a whole new generation of fans.
Consumers expect the quality of a product to align consistently with your brand. Eddie Van Halen poured his life’s experience and expertise as a guitarist into designing a product that would line up with the quality of rock music that Van Halen was known for.
The Wolfgang guitar design and development process took over two years of trial and error research. This intense process included multiple prototypes that went through a full year of hardcore, in-concert testing by Eddie Van Halen during his 2007-2008 world tour. The final product of the Wolfgang guitar revealed a first-class instrument with outstanding durability and quality.
When asked about the Wolfgang guitar, Eddie Van Halen stated, “It’s not a fad, it’s 35-40 years of my knowledge of what makes a sweet, sexy, toning, quality, indestructible instrument.”
Eddie Van Halen will always be remembered as an amazing guitarist with a memorable brand.