I’m a Jimmy Buffett fan. The dude is a showman. He’s a brand. He knows what his message is and he is relentless about sharing it. He offers a glimpse into a life that many of us wish we could live 24/7. I’ve seen him a few times in concert and he always delivered.
(Here’s a video of his most famous song — and one of my favorite songs — Margaritaville)….
Jimmy Buffett is also a business genius. When I saw this article about Buffett the other day, I read it avidly and thought I’d share it with you. Read the article for yourself but I’ll summarize some of the key points here…
Buffett has a big following and although he hasn’t had a lot of radio play in the past 30 years, his net worth is estimated at about $400 million. Sure, some of that is going to come from album sales. But only a fraction.
Most of it, it seems, comes from income generated by some of his organizations — restaurants, stores, nightclubs, hotels, casinos, food products, clothes, and books. Buffett has enough of a “lock” on his brand, and a big enough following, that struggling companies are switching their names to his brand while his novels achieve Best Seller status even though they aren’t up there with Ernest Hemingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Here’s his secret: He first built a brand that focused on a particular lifestyle/feeling/attitude. Once he had that brand established, he leveraged it into other things. BIG things! What’s more, this is all passive income (because it’s scalable without Buffett having to spend more time in the office and less time on the beach). With every concert Buffett gives, he promotes his brand and thus, he promotes all of the various income-generating channels he has.
Buffett’s beach bum facade is compelling but he’s secretly hiding a very a very smart business brain in that sunburnt, margarita-addled head. And the lesson for us business owners is to focus first on a strong, clear, simple, compelling brand and then turn that brand into bigger things.