Prince: The Legacy Of A Brand

Prince Public Relations

The purple Prince of pop-rock, for a time known only by an enigmatic symbol, is dead. Fans worldwide are reeling, both at the surprise as well as wondering “why” and “how” … two questions that, as of this writing, remain unanswered.

Prince was one of the most influential brands in music. A perennial chart-topper in the 80s and 90s, many critics and millions of fans rate his 1984 “Purple Rain” album one of the best of all time from any artist. At 13 times platinum, it’s hard to argue. To his legion of fans – many of whom are platinum selling artists in their own right – Prince was more than a singer-songwriter, he was THE artists, a force of nature.

In the past few days since his death, he’s been called his generation’s Elvis, among others. But the reality is, Prince had an incomparable brand. The man who wrote the smash hit Nothing Compares 2 U lived that out with every track, every lyric and every concert. Just ask any of his fans … and ask anyone who loves other styles of music. They like Prince too, even if they don’t know it.

Some remember his biggest hits from Purple Rain. Some remember the Tim Burton Batman soundtrack, and others recall the Quinton Tarver cover of “When Doves Cry” from Romeo and Juliet. However people connect with the Purple One, they remember. And, that, friends, is what we need to focus on. Why people know and love Prince’s brand, and why, even when they couldn’t pronounce it, they couldn’t stop talking about it.

prince pr

First, he connected. Generation after generation connected with Prince because he kept connecting with them. He didn’t give people what they wanted, no soggy pop tracks or syrupy teen-bob hooks. He created art and people loved him for it.

Prince didn’t recreate the wheel. He just shifted it just enough to make it signature. He crafted funk-rock and hip-pop concoctions that crossed genres and audiences. He brought people together and gave them an experience they would carry with them. More than anything else, he understood the power of communal experience, and more than anything else, Prince delivered that for his fans.

All the great performers understand how to work a crowd, but Prince knew how to send them home with more than a t-shirt. He sent them home with memories, with ear-worms that immediately sprung to mind when they heard his name – and when they heard of his death. He mirrored culture, and he created culture, but, more than anything else – he knew how to connect.

About Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations. He is an experienced leader in the public relations industry with over 20 years of experience. Ronn Torossian has been named as Public Relations executive of the year by the American Business Awards, and has run countless award-winning Public Relations programs.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and Chairman of 5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company’s growth, overseeing more than 275 professionals. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine’s Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country’s foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations,” which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.

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