Whether you like the song or not, you are no doubt familiar with Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger.” It debuted at #8 on the U.S. charts in July 2011. Since then, the upbeat ode to Mick Jagger’s dance moves has sold over 6.3 million copies in the U.S. (6 x platinum), 4.6 million copies in South Korea, and millions more in countries around the world. The song features Adam Levine, Maroon 5’s lead singer and People Magazine: 2013’s Sexiest Man Alive, along with Christina Aguilera on vocals.
Moves Like Jagger has been a huge success lauded by the music industry, but it could have been a laughable flop. It marked a departure for Maroon 5 in a number of ways. Here are 4 moves they made to create a Moves Like Jagger experience:
Move #1. Bold vs. Safe Claims
Claiming to have the moves like Mick Jagger is a bold statement. True, it’s not the same as saying you have the moves like Michael Jackson, but Jagger no doubt has his own flair and comparing oneself to him is no small claim. Levine said it well, it’s “one of those songs that was definitely a risk; it’s a bold statement.”
What are you saying about your product, your company, or yourself. Are you making bold claims (and then delivering on them) or are you playing it safe. I’m not saying to be unethical. I’m saying be bold. Are you playing to win or simply playing not to lose?
Move #2. Same vs. New Partners
We hear so much about the benefits of teaming; however, most teams tend to consist of the same players. We stick with people with whom we are comfortable. Maroon 5 took two major departures on this song. The first was that they used the work of an outside songwriter, Ammar Malik (and his colleagues). Second, they involved Christina Aguilera for back-up vocals. Both choices payed off for the band.
Consider your partners. Are you stuck in a rut, using the same people or have you branched out and invited others into the conversation? I’m not saying be disloyal. Maroon 5 stuck together as a group, I’m saying widen the aperture. Others often bring a new perspective and a new way of thinking that leads to better answers.
Move #3. Formulaic vs. Unconventional Methods
Maroon 5 has a distinctive sound and frankly many of their songs are about relationships gone bad. That formula has worked well for them; they have sold millions of songs. However, as Levine explained this song and the approach they took broke the mold and “totally revived the band.”
Take a look at your team. Does the ‘band’ need some reviving? Have you become stuck using the same formula? Are you producing the same or better results?
Move #4. Narrow vs Broad Appeal
My sister-in-law lives in Denmark. Her two little girls have yet to learn English and my Danish skills are virtually non-existent – but my nieces knew this song. (In fact, it ended #1 on the Danish pop song chart in 2011). When we visited a couple of years ago, we were able to connect because of the broad appeal of the work. Arguably most people alive today know either Adam Levine or Mick Jagger. As a middle ager, I split the universe on this issue and I’m familiar with both.
Going for a broad appeal reaps different rewards. In general, the marketing world has thrown ‘broad appeal’ or mass marketing into the ash heap. However, you can’t knock the ability to gain attention from those ranging from ages 8 to 80, male and female, and any language or geographic location around the world. I’m not saying throw out the individual marketing approach, I’m just asking if you are missing an opportunity.
Patrick Leddin, PhD is a speaker, global leadership consultant, and The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Five-Week Leadership Challenge. Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University with a thriving leadership blog and podcast, and 25-years of leadership experience. He offers an unparalleled mix of academic rigor and real-world experience.