You’ve probably never heard of Colonel Tom Parker.
He was the guy who managed and marketed Elvis.
But as popular as the swivel-hipped superstar was, Parker realised there were also millions of people who thought Elvis sucked.
Now, most marketers wouldn’t bother with this target group.
Much better, and much easier, to focus on raving fans.
But Colonel Tom Parker wasn’t like most marketers.
He saw opportunity, where others saw none.
So instead of ignoring the haters, he embraced them.
But he didn’t try to change their minds or convince them that Elvis was king.
He was too clever to flog a dead horse.
Instead, he sold badges with the words “I hate Elvis” and “Elvis is a jerk” emblazoned on them.
And generated a ton of extra publicity along with a tidy profit in the process.
“I don’t think I’d have ever been very big if it wasn’t for him.” Elvis is quoted as saying.
“He’s a very smart man.”
And a very smart marketer as well.