The Importance of building a brand

One thing that teenagers have in common is that they tend to identify with things that they like or spend a lot of time doing. Since not all teenagers have jobs, and the ones that do don't think of them as "careers" they have to identify themselves with something else. I find that usually some of the biggest things they identify with are brands, and music. There are other things that teens identify with, such as sports, theater, arts or some other extra curricular activities, but  I believe the most common ones are brands and music. I think you would be hard pressed to find a kid that didn't identify with at least some sort of music.

Cash rules everything around us: Cream, get the money, dolla' dolla' bill y'all

Being a teenager in the 90's I grew up identifying wanting to identify with certain types of music that were popular or perhaps counter-culture to what my parents would have wanted.

One of those groups was the rap group the Wu-Tang Clan. They were never a group that was played on the radio because their music was simply too vulgar, but they managed to build a brand and a following that still lives on decades later. Even though they have only released one album since 2001 (which was not really well received) people still love their brand. They have been referenced in pop culture making what some may call low brow references to the financial industry through use of lyrics in old songs. Being as interested as I was in personal finance, when I found references to the ludicrous skits of a rap group being financial planners I of course couldn't throw my money at the retailers fast enough:

Wu-Tang Financial

But how important is a brand really? Well, using the example above I bought something because of the marketing that was done on me back in the 90's. I'm sure that you could guess by the lines outside of the apple store when a new iPhone comes out that the brand has a huge influence on the customers waiting for days in line.

But I'm curious about the brands that aren't the biggest brands in the world. I believe the biggest brands in the world are so large that you can't put an actual price tag on them. You could guess but since no one would ever buy the actual brand of Apple and keep all of the iPhones to themselves or buy all of Starbucks so that no one else could ever have their coffee, we'll probably never know.

The other day I saw an article on Forbes about the Wu-Tang Clan. Apparently they have decided to make a new album, but instead of releasing it like normal they have a single copy for sale. That's it, one copy, no one else can have it once it's bought unless whomever buys it decides otherwise.

Wu-Tang Financial

You can still hear the album if you want to, but it will cost you $30 to $50 (comparative to a museum fee) when it tours various music festivals. But once the tour is over and the auction takes place, the fate of this album could be sealed forever. So this goes back to the question, how important is a brand?

Part of me hopes that someone like Kim Dotcom buys it and shares it with the world and makes his money back by advertising to get the download. But part of me likes the mystery of an album that is never heard of again. What if the Beatles did this decades ago and someone was holding onto it now? How much do you think it would be worth today?

The sale price of the album is going to be in the millions, if you are interested in inquiring you can click here. Side note: if you do purchase the album please let me have a listen, as I doubt I will end up at any of those music festivals.

Brands are important, you could say that I'm working on one with this blog, (not that it's really worth anything at the moment) but it will be interesting for me to see a price tag put on something that influenced my adolescence. I'm curious as to how other small businesses view the importance of their brands. We all know they are important, but have you ever considered a price tag for your brand?
P.S. I think that the Wu-Tang Clan was the best boy band ever.


  1. I agree. Branding is so important. Raises awareness, margins, and profitability in a business. I'm always hunting to buy a company with high brand value!

  2. Wow - that is crazy, and it seems like a very interesting idea. Just one album for sale, ever! I'm guessing they will actually do very well with it :-)

    1. Oh, I'm not worried about the Wu-Tang Clan being financially secure, especially after they sell this album. I'm also guessing that whomever buys the album will find a way to make money off of it too.