U2 as a multimillion-dollar, multinational media company

Great write up on U2 and their marketing operation in the NYT today.  Somehow U2 manages to be a corporation, advertise with Apple which is completely proprietary, and yet have a glow of being open, honest, young and progressive.  That is a challenging brand position to reside in, and hats are off to their management and to the band/brand itself.

Quote from the NYT article on U2.

U2cd"We always said it would be pathetic to be good at the music and bad at the business," said Paul McGuinness, the band’s manager since the beginning. And while U2 hasn’t become a Harvard Business School case study (at least not yet) it offers an object lesson in how media can connect with their customers.

Speaking on advertising on the web I frequently get questions like "that is not what Nike does" and I have to keep reminding folks that YOU ARE NOT NIKE!  So while I am in awe of U2 and what they have accomplished in music, in business, and in philanthropy, I would caution new artists to remind themselves YOU ARE NOT U2.  New bands have to be a new brand and build on the latest in advertising evolution.