I saw Robert Plant and Band of Joy in Chicago a few years ago, and it’s amazing how he re-invents himself year after year. Each direction he takes, tends to reveal a little bit more depth and a little bit more character, and damn if it doesn’t all work out.
Brands have a personality and lifespan. Brands get old, tired, but they can re-invent themselves and become refreshed. Refreshed is a good word that you can apply to Robert Plant throughout his musical journey.
Robert Plant’s brand, was established early in his career. Stage presence, the look, the hair and oh yea — an unmistakable voice with screaming range that set the tone for Led Zeppelin. He and the band were at their peak between 1971-1975ish, and have a legacy of one of the most influential rock and roll bands of all time. Second to The Beatles in albums sold in the U.S.
So what does a Robert Plant do when the band disbands? He doesn’t even try to compete with himself.
1. Define yourself. Set yourself apart with a new sound and new musicians. Write unique songs that stand on their own merit.
2. Nod to your past. Sprinkle a few nuggets of old sound mixed with some new stuff. Build a well crafted bridge from past to present.
3. Take a chance.Stake your claim to what you are best at, and give people a chance to see you in a new light.
4. Try new partners. New partners will open up new ideas and discoveries — the results (or Grammy awards) can be surprising.
5. Embrace the present. Be at peace either in or out of the spotlight and enjoy the ride…all over again.