A colleague was recently complaining about the powerful personalities on his sales team. He compared it to the Beatles, and contrasted it with the Rolling Stones. His point was that the Beatles were John, Paul, George, and Ringo, and the Rolling Stones were the Rolling Stones. He claimed that the powerful individual personalities in the Beatles were a major reason they broke up in 1970 and the Stones still play today.
I don’t agree 100% with the analogy (after all, there are Mick and Keith), but the point is well taken. How do the individual personalities fit into the overall brand, and not overtake it?
I attended the Cubs’ home opener at Wrigley Field today, and I couldn’t help but think of this. The Cubs are my friend’s definition of the Rolling Stones. In the energy at the park (despite the sub-40 degree temperature) I sensed a continuity with Cubs games I attended in the late 60s. The players change, but it’s still the Cubs. When Matt Murton, in his first home game as a Cub, made an amazing double play throw from left field, the fans cheered as they would have cheered a Billy Williams throw from left in 1969 or a Moises Alou throw from left in 2003.
How does the brand transcend and outlive the players? (And then, ask yourself why the players make so much money!)