Lessons on Adding Value from KISS (Yes, the Rock Group!)

I have been asked for advice from clients and friends alike as to what they can do during an economic downturn to keep their business afloat and their existing clients intact.  I now have an analogy that I am using to demonstrate how adding value to your products and services can keep things afloat in tough times.  Just a short disclaimer here, if you absolutely despise the rock group KISS, you may be so turned off that you won’t get the point that I am trying to make, so see you later.  But, if you don’t have a preconceived opinion of KISS, hope you enjoy this post…

Okay, so the other day I went to Wal-Mart and picked up the new KISS ‘Sonic Boom’ CD.  Now, there are two things here worth pointing out, one, I never go to Wal-Mart, and two, I never buy CD’s anymore!  What made me get out of my comfort zone and routine to do this??  Also, what is a KISS Concert like in person?? Hope to answer these burning questions for you in this installment of The Cotton Club…

First Off, Why KISS??

I am an avid member of the KISS Army, have been a fan since I was old enough to carry a lunchbox to school w/ Gene Simmons on the front of it.  I have seen KISS several times over the years, and while I am not a huge fan of reality television, I have even tuned into ‘Family Jewels’ a few times to catch a glimpse into the life and times of Gene Simmons.  I have also read his book, KISS and Tell.  (As a side note: Gene Simmons has never drank, smoked, or used drugs, that was never his crutch, a lot of people are surprised by this.)

As I have gotten older, and wiser, I have come to admire Gene Simmons business acumen.  He, and his partner, Paul Stanley, are the only two original members of the band KISS remaining.  The other original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss have both had issues over the years that led to their ousting from the band.  While their relationships are all cordial, and they even get together from time to time for conventions / reunions, they have not benefited from the dedication and business acumen like Paul and Gene have.

Packing in Value! $12 Set (2 Audio CD’s and 1 DVD)

kiss I never go to Wal-Mart, I despise the whole experience.  Back in my bachelor days I had a pretty good run of over 12 months where I never stepped foot inside of a Wal-Mart, but getting married quickly changed that.  The reason I went to Wal-Mart was because KISS had worked out a deal w/ Wal-Mart to release their CD ‘Sonic Boom’ for them.

The CD, in case you are wondering is only $12, but wait, there’s more!!!  Not only do you get the new CD from KISS but you also get an additional CD w/ about 10 or so of their Classic Tunes, a Greatest Hits if you will.  I am not finished though, w/ the two audio CD’s you also get a DVD from their recent concert in Buenos Aires.  All of that for $12, can you tell me anyone else in the music industry that has even come close to offering up that much value??  Here’s a link to the CD on Wal-Mart.com, and here’s a little more information about the relationship between KISS and Wal-Mart

Packing in More Value! (Unforgettable Performance for $9.41)

Now, having seen KISS a few times over the years, I knew to expect the best concert experience imagine able.  Probably the only thing I could even compare their concerts too would be the pageantry associated with the Super Bowl halftime show, but not even that can come close.  Here’s just a brief summary of what we got from KISS in Little Rock at their show…

  • Gene Simmons Spewing Fire (a timeless tradition)
  • Gene Simmons Spewing Blood (another timeless tradition)
  • Gene Simmons on Top of Verizon Arena (yep, he was standing in the rafters playing and singing)
  • Paul Stanley Flying Over the Crowd (60+ years old w/ hip replacement)
  • Paul Stanley Playing ‘Love Gun’ on Riser (he flew to the middle of the arena, crowd all around him)
  • Tommy Thayer (Ace’s Replacement) Shot Down a Row of Lights w/ his Guitar (an obvious oops!)
  • Eric Singer Drum Solo (Peter’s Replacement) His entire drum set did a 360 w/ him on it…
  • Full 18 Songs (they came back and did a long set list for an encore)
  • Rock-N-Roll All Nite Finale w/ Confetti Guns (There was 2ft of confetti inside the arena)
  • Most Phenomenal Light Show of all time (Haven’t seen one that rivals it yet…)

I think it is also worth noting that during the concert, I don’t remember hearing any profanity at all, and I saw entire families w/ children at the show.  KISS hasn’t backed themselves into a corner by being an all-adult show, at least in my opinion, I do realize the makeup and blood might not be every parents good idea, but hey, you see worse than this on CSI.

Now, here’s the best part of the concert, at least for me.  A few days before the show they realized that it wasn’t completely sold out, so they got with a local radio station (I am not real sure how this came about) and did a promotion where the remaining tickets would go for $9.41 each.   That’s right, under ten bucks!!!

In case you missed the show, here are some highlights you can take w/ you…

Paul Stanley Flying through the Crowd

Gene Simmons Solo (Blood and Flying Up Top)


If you are not a KISS fan, I still hope you were able to pull away with the point that I was trying to make in this post, ADDING VALUE IS IMPORTANT! (and will get you talked about)…

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