Sitting having a pre-World Cup sunshine pint last Wednesday evening, I came across this interview with Jazzy B, founder of Soul II Soul, full of lessons on how to grow a brand through a people-shaped approach.
The story of the growth of the Soul II Soul record label is a fascinating one, from mobile sound system to one of London music’s mainstays, and selling over 10m albums across the world in the process.
Jazzy’s attitude and approach to creating this wildly successful business was what struck me:
“There was never a master plan… the secret to Soul II Soul’s success was simply staying true to their original sound system ethos of being fast on your feet and always aware of what your audience wanted from you… you had to get it right, not only in the records you played but the whole atmosphere, the mood of your dance. That meant responding immediately to the crowd, knowing them well enough to predict what they wanted, and leading them in certain directions.”
Brands, what’s the mood of your dance? Do you know your crowd? Are you aware of what they want enough to predict behaviour? Are you quick enough to react?
Jazzy B got that being people-shaped would lead him to growth, and so it proved.