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Why rock fans are loyal to the brand – not the band (feat. GN'R)


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There is something visually engaging - and dare I say - comforting about the classic GN'R logo being used. It's the familiarity of what it represents. It's not a logo that would work well corporately, and to my mind, there's still to much yellow, but it is what it is. 

The fact that you could draw it with a compass, a ruler and a propelling pencil at school also make it a winner. 

There was little cohesion in the nugnr branding. Chinese-styled graphics, for years before the album was released. It was boring and we didn't know what it represented. I assume that someone at the record company thought that the album was nearly done, so comissioned artwork, ordered lots of merch and then things went quiet again. 

Replacing members in rock bands is easy to do… folks get tired and switch places between similar-sounding bands. I don't think it's done as much as it used to be. There's no obligation for any company to retain an original staffing throughout its duration, why should a band be any different? 

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I think we all know that GNR don't care about us, they like that we buy tickets, pay for their houses etc. but besides that? let's be honest :D And we're going because 1. Nostalgia 2. We love the material.

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I agree; interesting read and perspective.  Thanks for posting!

Slashs return restored the brand I think.  Also Slash is a brand all his own so it can also be viewed as a joint brand venture, I suppose.

It also got me thinking about ICP with the juggalos and to a lesser extent Black Label Society vests.  An extreme communion around a brand that one can live inside of 24/7.  Deadheads sought this and had there own community despite the band typically looking down there nose at the die hards.  Or on the other hand Max Cavalera; he quits Sepultura and has success with Soul Fly but goes through so many members.  Meanwhile his brother stays in Sepultura and they become a little more niche then they were at their height.  Then eventually they both join to launch Cavelara Conspiracy.  The most obscure band yet by them.  Like their just using the brand of their name and nothing else;  just begging fans of all previous projects to embrace this one on brand alone.

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The Coldplay and U2 examples are kinda off. Of course it wouldn't be Coldplay without Chris Martin, him being the voice and main songwriter in the band. Bono with three others members wouldn't work either because they've been together for too long (40 years now) and especially the Edge is important in the sound and songwriting. 

I don't think many people saw the band during the CD era as  GnR either. At least I didn't.

It didn't work for rock band Live when they continued under that name without their singer and main songwriter.

I think it depends on the personality that is still in the band and their contribution. Alice in Chains is accepted by some because Jerry Cantrell was the main songwriter anyway.

Edited by EvanG
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4 hours ago, DieselDaisy said:

There is some truth there but the fact that Guns's audiences increased dramatically from the nadir that was newgnr, forced to play casinos, to the arrival of Slash and Duff and a return to stadia, rather contradicts the argument. Still, crowds are willing to be conned on the Stradlin and Adler front, or at least throw it into the back of their mind (or pretend Izzy now has boobs!).

:lol:

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4 hours ago, Blake Sabbath said:

Very interesting read and perspective!

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/jun/13/rock-pop-brands-guns-n-roses-ritchie-blackmores-rainbow

"The return of Guns N’ Roses and Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow underlines how logos and audience loyalty are more crucial to a group’s success than who is on stage"

I think they're a little off in including GN'R on this one. The logo has nothing to do with it IMO and there was no audience loyalty until Slash & Duff returned. The huge crowds now aren't an "audience loyalty to the brand" thing so much as a "the masses thought Slash should be there" thing.

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It's a difficult one. Because once you have a change in line-up (as almost all bands do) even if new members write and record new material that is then toured on. You might call it a brand rather than a band but what if then you have a full blown reunion? Would the older members then be considered part of a "brand" because they didn't write the newer material?

This might not be as prudent with GN'R but what about bands that have released some their most iconic material after a dramatic line-up change? Like AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Van Halen, The Rolling Stones etc.?

If you agree with the logic the article puts forward does that mean that no band holds its integrity once a line-up changes? It's hard to accept that given the history of quality bodies of work that have been released under these so called "brands."

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Or maybe it's because people just love the songs and want to hear them live? Nothing more nothing less. I do get what the article is trying to say, sometimes I just feel like us/they/them try and get too deep when we don't need to. People like rock shows. They have certain bands and certain songs they love, so they go to watch and hear them. I think some of it is not so much loyalty to a brand, but loyalty to songs they love. No biggie.

Edited by J Dog
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3 hours ago, J Dog said:

Or maybe it's because people just love the songs and want to hear them live? Nothing more nothing less. I do get what the article is trying to say, sometimes I just feel like us/they/them try and get too deep when we don't need to. People like rock shows. They have certain bands and certain songs they love, so they go to watch and hear them. I think some of it is not so much loyalty to a brand, but loyalty to songs they love. No biggie.

Agree

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