…and what businesses can learn from him

Those of you who have known me for a long time will know that I’m a huge fan of terrible music, Garage being a genre very popular during my days at Bournemouth University.  One of the really popular artists during that time was Craig David (or Craaaaaig David as he’s affectionately known).  I went to see him last night with some friends at Newmarket Races and I was inspired when I woke up to write a blog about the reasons why I think Craig’s is a marketing genius!

Back in ‘the day’ (the early 2000s), Craig had great success with some iconic hits – 7 days, Rewind (The Crowd Says Bo Selecta) and Fill Me In.  He released a couple of albums and then suddenly, the fashion changed and Craig’s RnB hits just weren’t hitting the mark with the audience, who’d started moving on.  Garage and RnB was absolutely core to his brand and what his fans associated him with – when it’s not fashionable any more, he was forced into the music wilderness!

This happens in business all the time.  You have great initial success and then the market moves on and you realise you’ve not kept your offer up to date with what the market needs.  The phone stops ringing. The orders stop coming in.  What do you do next?  I think you can learn some valuable lessons from Craig.

Perfect your craft

Craig kept himself busy during the decade he was out of the spotlight.  He used this time to write and produce music – really honing his craft and his skills.  If this happens to you, take the opportunity to refresh your skills, learn new ones – basically keep yourself current.  Now it probably helps to have a few million pounds in the bank plus royalties coming in while you do this, however for those of us without that luxury, I’d suggest you always spend time investing in developing new skills as you work on your business.

Collaborate

So many people in business are afraid of collaborating and working with others.  Collaborating is something I LOVE to do and I’ve got a few great opportunities that I’m working on with other people (more to follow) – this will allow me to make my offer stronger and better.  Craig did this – his comeback single When the Baseline Drops with Grime MC Big Narstie (“Who?” I’m sure some of you are thinking).  By working with others, he’s made himself current again – repositioning himself from noughties has-been to totally relevant to a new (Grime!) Generation.  Impressive.  Craig also did a 1 Xtra show covering Bieber’s Love Yourself and remixing it with his own classic Fill Me In.  Bieber and Craig are now besties!  Who’d have thought it?

Be Inspired

This article in GQ magazine talks about how Craig uses Instagram and social media to help him to be creative. He keeps a mood board of things that he’s passionate about and inspired by.  I’m sure this is something he does constantly – having an eye on the future and creating the type of life you want really helps you to see the prize and keeps you focussed on what you want to do.  And just look at Craig’s phenomenal comeback – clearly it works.  I’m going to take this as an action point for myself. I tend to do a mood board once a year, but they aren’t updated regularly and need to be a bit more creative.  So thanks for the nudge Craig.

Be what your market wants

At last night’s concert, I was talking to some young girls in the queue for the toilet.  They were big fans of Craig but didn’t know his ‘stuff from his early career.’  Now, it was a horrifying realisation to me that these young girls of 20 were probably at playgroup when I was dancing to Craig’s hits at my student union.  And they wouldn’t get the references to Bo Selecta.  The point here is not to focus on my age but how Craig has managed to be relevant to two completely different generations.  He gave the crowd exactly what they wanted – a great show of his new hits plus a crowd pleasing DJ set showcasing some great Garage and RnB hits from my yoof.  Absolute perfection.

I’ve put some highlights from the concert on my Facebook and Instagram stories so please head on over to take a look.  If you don’t want to run the risk of hearing my singing or if Craig’s not really your thing then leave a comment below and let me know what you think of this blog post and whether you’ll take any of these tips forward in your business.

 

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