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December 2006


Laura Ries

Thanks Neil. You are right, never say never. I don't think Greg could have had a solo adult singing career and made $40 million a year for sure. Many successful people can't stand being "typecast" which really means they have a brand that stands for something. Juila Roberts = Pretty woman. Jim Carrey = crazy funny. Hugh Grant = lovable cad. So they try to do something else. It usually fails commercially.

There are some rare ocassions that people make the leap from Mickey Mouse club to adult stardom. (Brittney Spears) or Boy Band to solo star (Justin Timberlake.) But these are the exception not the rule. Most do not make it. And the ones that do, do so with brilliant marketing moves and lots of luck.

Neil Bull

I agree that the Wiggles are one of the best examples around of focus and positioning.

However once a Wiggle, always a Wiggle... not sure.

There are many examples of artists shaking off 'boyband' or 'Micky Mouse Club' labels and carving their own career. It is a matter of establishing different brand and position for a different target market.

Prior to being the Wiggles, Anthony and Jeff were actually in a successful Australian 80's pub band called "The Cockroaches"

Early last year, Greg released a country CD with Elvis Presley’s World Famous Tcb Band. The reviews of the CD were extremely positive talking about his "silky smooth" voice.

It would have been fascinating to see what would have happened if he didn't fall ill and quit The Wiggles to go solo. Would he have been able to leverage or not? A great branding challenge!

You say "never could work." Yet maybe it did work? Depends on what he was trying to accomplish. If you measure success in $$ terms, then it wouldn't be a scratch on The Wiggles, but maybe it wasn't about the $$. Maybe he just wanted to pursue a passion outside his day job and therefore the personal brand accomplished its task - giving him enormous personal satisfaction. After all, tell me what country fan wouldn't want to record with Elvis's band?


By the way, love the Reis report video blog... nice.

Laura Ries

Believe me, I know. It is the Wiggles and jumping up and down like idiots made them $40 million last year. But it goes to show if you can be first in a new category it can be very profitable. Most artists want to be the next U2, but these guys did the opposite. Totally uncool, unsexy and unappealing to anyone over 5 years of age. It is a true exercise in focus. Interesting, I saw on the internet that Greg tried to do an adult album/tour a few years ago. Believe me, never could work, once you go Wiggles you can never go back.


I know it's good marketing, but g&* d()&, it's the Wiggles, man! It's painful to see. Sorry, personal opinion. Professionally, very brilliant.


As a massive U2 fan. I would have to admit I would have my doubts how popular U2 would be without Bono. Since he is the center of attention and he attracts tons of PR for the band/brand as well. With all his work for africa, (Product) red etc. I don't now Wiggles but if you could compare it to the front singer in a band like U2. I think Wiggles may prepare themselves with some damage control.

Thanks Laura, for great comments on my last post. Actually I'm creating a new product/brand based on the VERY valuable information in your "The origin of Brands" book. I highly recommend it.

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By Al & Laura Ries

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