“From the get-go, KISS understood that we were a business”

-Gene Simmons-

It used to be that someone with passion and talent would write some songs, try and get played on radio and, if they were lucky, sell enough records to make a living. Nowadays, you need to get the business model and marketing right if you want to have any chance of your tunes cutting through the noise.

When KISS started, they toured incessantly to get fans to buy their records. This is where they first made all their money…Records nowadays? Well they’ve only released two new albums in 17 years, and in concert they may play one song from those records.

In other words, KISS has turned a band into a brand. Their music is just an excuse to create the concert event, an experience that you as the customer can choose to taste in many different ways. From the budget seats in the nosebleed stands to the platinum rock star ‘meet and greet’ (with tickets around $1500 each!). And KISS charge you EXTRA just to have the right to buy those meet and greet tickets, such is the demand!

"Supply and demand wasn’t a shallow way to take advantage of people – it was figuring out what people wanted and providing it"

I know a guy who took his whole family of four to a meet and greet on KISS’ last tour. $6000 on tickets, plus $50 beforehand to join the KISS army in order to buy the tickets! That’s a lot of money, even for a diehard fan. In return he got to attend a pre-show acoustic concert by the band, meet and chat with each member, get autographs and a pic with the band in makeup…oh and front row seats. Best money he’s ever spent….You may ask why?

‘We will remember that day for the rest of our lives. I’ll never forget how much fun we had, and how happy my kids were to see our heroes up close and personal. The fact hat it was expensive and uncommon, and that the band members made us feel special, is what made it so worthwhile’

So what are the lessons we can learn from KISS, in our own money lives?

  1. Be flexible. In a changing workforce you need to always anticipate what the market needs of what the future will be. Whether you are employed or run your own business, what will your customers want in 2020? If KISS still relied on record sales for income like they did in the 70s, they’d be out of business!
  2. Be bold. Have a go. One of the reasons KISS can charge what they do is because THEY believe they are worth it, and then they deliver. Want a pay- rise? Go for it – but do your homework first so when you ask, you can show your boss why paying you more is a smart investment on their part.
  3. Persist. Often the prize goes to the person who simply does not give up. KISS is having their 40th anniversary tour, yet there were many missteps and difficult times for them during their career too. Their self-belief and persistence is a big reason why they still pack out stadiums today.