There are certain laws that are universal. What goes around comes around, what you give is what you get, and give people what they want. This last universality is the cornerstone of basic business. Find the need and fill it. How else could you explain why anybody buys anything? But while this “law” may be true, it isn’t always the right kind of mentality. Business minds think along the lines of creating a demand rooted in worthlessness and then persuading the consumer to feel that they need it. This thinking permeates every industry in the world. The consumer, nonetheless, is left to his/her own mind to distinguish whether or not a presumed need is actually a need or simply a want. When a company presents a product to you that fills a certain need, your purchase or non-purchase of said item sends a strong message to the company. Your dollar becomes a vote for their product. Keep in mind, that every business is established to do one thing and one thing only: make money. It is naive for you, as a consumer, to think that a legitimate business with expenses, overhead, and any other miscellaneous expenditures would only be “trying” to sell you something.
What does all this have to do with the music business? Record labels, music management companies, music marketing companies, and even this wonderful music blog you’re reading now are all in business to sell you something. In my case, I’m selling an idea but I’m still selling. They’re all competing for your attention, so when your attention focuses in on a particular artist from Company A, Companies B, C, and D all take notes. You ever notice how some new artists come out and they look like a knockoff of an established artist? What’s happening is that a formula is being created for success. If the R&B girl from Company A dyed her hair blonde, put on a sexy outfit, and danced herself around to the tune of moving 250,000 copies sold in her first week of release, please believe that every executive at Companies B, C, and D with a new R&B girl will market her this same way. So the big question is, who has the power? Is it the consumers who just so happen to like R&B girl from Company A, or is it because she was marketed by the company so well that it made people like her? It’s the classic chicken vs. egg conversation. Do you remember Christina Milian? What’s the difference between her and Beyonce´? Think long and hard about this. There’s no humungous difference in terms of look, talent, or personality. If this is true, then why isn’t Christina Milian as big as Beyonce´? Have we all been duped into believing that Bey is really that good?