Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Guns 'N Roses Brand At The Threshold

So we're about to get our free Dr. Peppers! Chinese Democracy is finally going to be released and subjected to the ears of critics and the public at large.

GnR is hardly a band that defined a generation, nevertheless, their most popular album Appetite for Destruction has sold 18 million copies as of September 2008. Their brand, up to now, consists of two things: 1) Good music 2) A classic tale of rock and roll self destruction.

While the band was moving up the charts, Axl Rose - the megalomaniac singer - forced the other band members to yield all rights to the name Guns 'N Roses in order to keep working. After the band broke up, Axl began working on what would become Chinese Democracy for 13 years or so. During this time, the band's brand grew to the point that classic rock stations are playing some GnR's singles. Even my father now knows their music.

What's going to happen now that a new album is about to be released? We are still going to think Axl Rose is crazy. But, are people going to view the Guns 'N Roses brand in the same way? In addition to the early albums, plenty of people purchase GnR memorabilia including the almighty t-shirt. If this album bombs critically and/or commerically, then it could effect the sales of the Axl's perpetual gravy train.

The coming weeks are going to yield some interesting information about an aspect of branding that people don't think about very often. Let's watch and see what happens.

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