It's a Brand-New Metallica

Metal Supergroup Embraces New ID and Alternative Marketing Strategies

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Redesigned Metallica logo
New Metallica merch
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Heavy metal supergroup Metallica, who have had a reputation for heavy-handedness with illegal file sharing, fans posting videos on YouTube and journalists who don't quite play ball, have taken a refreshing new approach to the Metallica brand and marketing strategies around the launch of their much-anticipated ninth studio album, "Death Magnetic."

The album, which sold more than 500,000 copies in its first week (which was a short one due to a Friday release) and hit the No. 1 slot on the British album charts, has been accompanied by several new developments:

First, in good brand-management style, the Metallica ID has been revamped with a new logo, a "signature" typographic style and a brand kit that incorporates logos, imagery and graphics, as well as promotional items including a flag, a coffin-shaped special edition album and a vinyl boxed set. Perhaps more surprising is that the band brought in Cannes-award-winning design firm Turner Duckworth, which traditionally works for consumer brands including Coca-Cola, Palm, Amazon and South African Breweries.

The band has also pushed out quite a few new marketing initiatives. For fan-club members (of which I am now one!), anyone ordering tickets for Metallica's live shows will receive an "e-voucher" they can redeem to have the new CD mailed directly to their home for no charge. They'll also receive more "e-vouchers" to download, again free of charge, a video recording of the live show they are going to see. All of this and more, including the ability to order set lists, ticket stubs and recordings of other live shows, is available from livemetallica.com.

As any good marketer will tell you, evolving the look and feel of a brand and offering your consumers the chance to interact with it in new and compelling ways helps keep it fresh and increases "brand stickiness" or, in rock n' roll terms, it keeps your fans stuck to your side.