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Rick Rubin is one of the music world’s most legendary and prolific music producers. Across genres, and for more than 20 years, he has consistently produced the most influential, and highest selling records in the world.
Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash, System of a Down, Sheryl Crow, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Slipknot, The Dixie Chicks, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Black Sabbath, Eminem, Neil Diamond, Adele – Rubin has worked with and helped to magnify the reach of all these artists, and this is only the tip of the spear.
The reasons his music succeeds (and continually tops charts) where so many others fail is because he recognizes that great music is not about emulation or homogenization – it’s about connection.
Connection internally for the artist – tapping into what is real, authentic and unique about them.
And connection externally to fans – not all fans – but the select few with whom the music truly resonates. He believes it’s about going to the edges, rather than the middle, where real connection exists. This is how you gain true resonance.
As he puts it, “The best art divides the audience. Half should love it and half should hate it.”
As this is true in art, it is also true in marketing. Great marketing should also divide your audience. No company, or message, can be meant for everyone.
This is true for the most widely consumed brands – and even more so for the start-ups and mid-markets. The brute force of paid media is no longer the silver bullet – it’s authentic connection that creates real leverage.
This holds true in B2B marketing as much – or even more so – than in the consumer world. Because as everyone tries to cram in every possible benefit: Reduce costs, improve efficiency, maximize performance. Or appeal to every possible aspiration. You will be focused on the one most important thing you do.
As a result, you’ll be remembered while the rest fade into the background.