Neil Diamond + Individual Experience + Intangible Mystery of Branding

DiamondHandA few months ago I read a post by Dee Borgoyn, “Leadership Today: Do They See What You See?” It’s about two people who are in the middle of experiencing the same moment, but from two totally different perspectives.

“That’s when it struck me that here we were, two people on the same day, same time and basically the same place, yet we were probably having a completely different experience of the events.”

As the title of her post and the above quote suggest, this experience happens to each of us as individuals every day as we experience the world. We can process the same experience in completely different ways. It’s all about your state of mind at the time and can also be formed by our own past experience.

I recently attended a Neil Diamond concert, who I’ve seen a number of times before. However, this time, my experience was completely different than the previous times I’ve seen him perform. I’ve always enjoyed his music. Even if you’re not a big fan, you’re probably familiar with his long history of wonderful songs many based on his life. Stories he has sung and many which have been sung by countless other singers. But for some reason, listening to his songs and watching him this time was different for me.

He’s now 74-years old, still recording, still performing, and drawing an incredibly loyal following – many of whom have followed him for decades. “How does he do it?” I found myself thinking. This time in addition to enjoying the music, I found myself watching and experiencing his performance in a different way. I watched him thinking of him as an individual who has crafted an indelible brand in the ever changing world of music celebrity. What am amazing history he has lived, and throughout his career along with his stellar musical talents, he has consistently presented his personality – a warm, engaged, caring individual.

I thoroughly enjoyed this show and had a greater appreciation watching the audience respond, singing along, and on their collective feet for most of the two-and-half hours of his performance. As a business owner, I thoroughly admired his amazingly solid, consistent brand which Neil Diamond has become. I’m not sure how the other audience members experienced his show that night. It was probably a different experience for each one of the thousands of people who were there, but what was the same was the intangible quality that Neil Diamond has, which enables each of us to appreciate him for different reasons. He taps into something fundamental that speaks to a large diverse audience, and that’s invaluable from a branding perspective.

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