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Parrot Heads Unite

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Submitted By Williams10
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Parrot Heads Unite!

Jimmy Buffett fans around the world refer to themselves as “Parrot Heads”. These fans are considered and/or represent one of the most dedicated fan bases anywhere. These Parrot Heads were coined this nickname by a member of the rock group Eagles. This nickname came about in 1985 and has been referenced with this group of fans ever since. Jimmy Buffett himself sings of his fan base that he and Parrot Heads are “the people our parents warned us about”, and they are a self-proclaimed nerd group. But at the same time, these die-hard Buffett fans often fantasize of being in a make believe, almost mythical land where reality kind of fades away and they can be themselves. All of this has lead to the Parrot Heads in Paradise, Inc., a small club that started in 1989 and has grown to clubs all over the world numbering the thousands. It has literally become the name brand for the Jimmy Buffett fans and Jimmy Buffett himself. This “brand” has Buffett selling his fans the chance to temporarily escape into the land of fun and make believe. That being said, with Parrot Heads in Paradise, Inc. people/fans are purchasing the opportunity to live a type of life with others just like themselves. They have opportunities for road trips to concerts, visit with other club members from around the country and the world at a happy hour, or even volunteer to help with a non-profit organization. The clubs have been able to build many customer communities all over the world. Because of its large membership worldwide, a “Parrot Head” convention is held every year in which Jimmy Buffett himself sends a videotaped message to his fans. This allows Buffett a chance to give back to his fans. All of this loyalty has allowed Jimmy Buffett to create and embrace a lifestyle that his fans absolutely love. His tours, restaurant sales, and albums earn him approximately $100 million every year. In this manner, Jimmy Buffett as created his own brand of lifestyle, not only for himself, but for his loyal fans as well. Jimmy Buffett’s brand, through his music and lifestyle, kind of took on a life of its own. In looking and learning about Jimmy Buffett, I think there are five marketing lessons that we can learn from this musician. The first lesson would be to focus his strategy on a niche that plays to his strengths. Although Jimmy Buffett was not an overnight success, he developed an easy going beach bum persona for which he has become known and loved for. This quickly became his niche, “tropical rock”. The second lesson is to build a brand that will leave a visual image in the minds of the fan base. When you think of Jimmy Buffett, one pictures in their mind a group of laid back people being themselves, singing, and wearing silly looking clothes on a tropical retreat. A third lesson is to engage and listen to your fans to help create loyal followers. Jimmy Buffett created a brand by interacting with his fans, both before and during his concerts and giving them the experience that they were looking for. In return, fans organized themselves into clubs and imitated him, popularly known as “Parrot Heads”. A fourth lesson would be to establish partnerships that will help promote your brand. It is beneficial to partner with leaders and/or sponsors who will help your brand in the image that you build. For example, Jimmy Buffett partnered with sponsors such as Anheuser-Busch brewing company to promote his of “Margaritaville” music and lifestyle. And the fifth lesson would be to always give back to the community/fans that will complement your brand. Once you have established your name and brand, it is always a good idea/marketing tool to give back to the community that will complement your brand. Jimmy Buffett’s success and business strategy comes in large part from him focusing on a niche, listening to his customers and fans, and even giving back to his loyal customers/fans.…...

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