How Queen keeps its legend alive – and what we can learn from it

Have you ever heard of Queen? Sure, because everyone knows this legendary group, one of the most influential bands in music history. Queen was founded in 1970 and is still a phenomenon.

But some 30 years ago, on 24 November 1991, a terrible thing happened. Singer Freddie Mercury died of AIDS. And all the music lovers in the world mourned.

What would happen to Queen now that their charismatic frontman was gone? Queen was no longer Queen. While Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon continued to do their musical thing, the beheaded Queen struggled on for 18 years.

And then, in 2009, everything changed. Because coincidentally, American Idol finalist Adam Lambert was on stage with the band. And millions of people felt the chemistry. In 2012 Queen + Adam Lambert played their first concert. Several world tours soon followed, all concerts sold out.

Adam is as talented as Freddie, in his own way. He's not imitating Freddie, he's just Adam, with his own style. And the old-timers don't routinely play the classics. No, the combination of personalities adds a new dimension. And the effect is supernatural.

Watch the documentary on Netflix, highly recommended. And let me tell you something. Namely, something that is also the moral of this story: make your brand a living legend – and don't do it alone.

A legend is a wondrous story that has been passed on for centuries. As far as I am concerned, a living legend is a wondrous story that keeps going on.

Both the growing Adam Lambert brand and the strong (previously waning) Queen brand are benefiting enormously from the joining of forces – and they are open about that. Both can independently continue to do their own thing, express their musical creativity, release songs. Both generate massive fame and the associated earnings. And both make their fans happy.

Whether you discovered Queen in 1970 or 2021, it doesn't matter. Whether you like Adam Lambert or Queen, it's okay. Even if the music doesn't affect you, you get the concept. It touches you, it makes an impact, and that's what it's all about.

Such a smart combination of brands is transformational. Everyone retains his/her own brand identity, while the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts. That works inside and outside your organization. In your marketing, in your procurement and of course in your communication. With your customer, with your business partners, in your entire value chain. And so, you build a living legend that transcends generations and situations.

At Noblahblah we also apply these principles. Our trainers and partners have an established reputation, part-time employment or their own company, and a backpack full of expertise. So equipped, they exercise and excel as presentation and communication coaches in the Noblahblah ecosystem. And our customers? They get the best of all worlds.

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