KISS Founders Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley - Brilliant Marketing Geniuses & Artists
By Joy A. Kennelly / www.linkedin.com
There's a reason KISS Founders Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley are AMERICA'S #1 GOLD RECORD AWARD WINNING GROUP OF ALL TIME (In All Categories) (RIAA). Not only are they amazing artists, but they're also brilliant marketing geniuses.
I've always wanted to write a book interviewing creative people who have found incredible success because there aren't any business books discussing the non-linear marketing genius exhibited by musicians, artists, photographers, and those in entertainment.
Every business book I've read is a dry, dare I say, boring linear approach to building a successful business and I know for a fact, creative people never follow a linear path. As someone who leans more artistically-minded than linear, I've observed the different styles of leadership, marketing, and approach to business by virtue of the fact I've interviewed a lot of successful creative people, I've also represented many creative people and I read extensively.
I first met and interviewed Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley when they opened their Rock & Brews restaurant in the South Bay. Here's their interview excerpt from the entire show we did on the opening.
They were funny, insightful, kind and knowledgeable about a variety of topics, indulging my curiosity on their patriotism and foodie inclinations. However, what I also experienced was when they were done, they were done with the interview. Don't waste time in other words.
In addition, they both know how to charm a crowd with self-deprecating humor and acknowledging the thoughts many might have about their success. Paul, at one point during speaking to the gathered crowd at Rock & Brews said, "We don't have to be here, we're already wealthy." which drew a laugh and then he went on to say in so many words, they were there because they cared about the community and wanted to give back. Watch the video and you'll learn how else they give back and why.
I read a book on interviews with 100 successful entrepreneurs years ago and one theme that stood out was how kindly they treated those around them. They treated each person they dealt with with respect whether they were the cleaning lady, the waiter, or whomever. I saw that in action while filming Gene & Paul those years ago, and again at their recent art opening.
At the restaurant opening, they graciously took photographs with Wounded Warriors' fans and their family for almost an hour. Every Rock & Brews restaurant also donates a portion of the proceeds to Wounded Warriors and showcases the Wounded Warrior logo with the signatures of each military person who participated in the openings.
Morrison Hotel Gallery Los Angeles co-owner/photographer Timothy White, Gene and Paul, Morrison Hotel Gallery co-owner/photographer Henry Diltz
Photo Credit Birdman
Last night, they took pictures with the photographers who helped build their career, the gallery owners who were hosting the event, and numerous others not only because it was the right marketing move, but even more because they sincerely appreciated people being there to support them when they were starting out and now.
When I speak to certain business professionals in the tech scene, I hear, don't acknowledge those people, they did their job, move on which goes against the grain of everything I've seen and observed in those who are successful and in my own life.
What those people don't seem to realize is that business flourishes on relationships. You build your career on relationships and when you help someone else, eventually it comes back to help you. Maybe not right away, maybe not ever, but it always is beneficial. You don't know who they know, or what they can do to help you and it's good "karma" as my more new agey friends might say. Or as I like to live, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
I represented Dr. Linda Seger's launch of her book, Web Thinking, years ago also and as a result read it too which I highly recommend. She gave numerous examples from entertainment on those who climbed the ladder of success stepping on people on their way up versus those who kept and cultivated relationships as they built their career. Those who stepped on people ultimately failed, and those who didn't ultimately succeeded.
There's a reason KISS Founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have found such enduring success and I believe it's their ability to build relationships, partnerships and business opportunities that are mutually beneficial and supportive. It's why I was excited to see them again after so many years and why it was a treat to see Gene remembered me even three years later.
I wish more tech business professionals would see that female founders who don't always think in linear patterns may have numerous strong business relationships that will far outweigh any spreadsheet, or database in building a successful business, and will find success once they receive funding.
It's why I've taken the time to cultivate the tech relationships I have as I've worked on my business and why I'm now going back to my entertainment connections now that I have an accomplished producer willing to distribute my travel show to over 100,000 households if I find the financing for the initial promotional package to pitch the networks.
It's also why I still want to write my book on the topic of creative leadership. I'm positive there are other business lessons available if I just mine them a little deeper. But that's for another time since I've got other things I need to accomplish now.
In the meantime, if you enjoyed the pictures above, then check out our fan page for even more from the Art Opening with KISS Founders, Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley here: http://on.fb.me/1PVv6DG
Great guys. Great art. Great gallery.