Brand Lessons From Tarkan’s “GEÇÇEK” song
Turkey’s agenda was suddenly locked on Tarkan’s new album. “Geççek” entered TT on Twitter, and people wrote thousands of entries in Ekşi, one of Turkey’s most influential blogs. The dissident groups immediately embraced his words and started to be sung as an anthem against the current government. It seems that the “Geççek” wave will continue to grow in the coming days.
Who is Tarkan?
Tarkan is a Turkish singer-songwriter. Since the early 1990s, with the successful sales of his albums, he has been a prominent figure of Turkish pop music globally. You may recognize him from the songs “Aacayipsin, Kuzu Kuzu, Dudu, Şımarık”. After this popularity in many countries, in 1998, he signed with Universal Music Group. His compilation albums received platinum and gold certifications, and he also released his first English album in 2006.
This new song “Geççek” is telling a story about the global pandemic and how will it go away eventually, but as we said, some of the dissident groups think the lyrics mean something else:
“Shall go, this too shall go
Evеrything has an end and this suffering will end
Oh, oh, wе’ll dance a jig then
Beautiful days are coming, believe that”
Being a brand is a strategy job
It has been 30 years since the birth of the “Tarkan” brand. While the pop trend of the early 90s turned into a cultural wave with private television channels and radios, this brand turned into a giant tsunami by pushing the boundaries, and everyone was listening/watching with pleasure. Tarkan is among the few artists who succeeded in distinguishing his brand in popular culture in the years when the free market entered our lives after the 80s, diversified, enriched, and globalized, and what turned into chaos.
The value of producing excellent works is indisputable. While the names that had great albums are forgotten one by one, the “Tarkan” brand still shines brightly today. The secret to success here is to have a goal, a stance (positioning), and a strategy based on it.
For example, a strategy that makes every brand strong is saying “no.”
In this video, one of the most prestigious late-night show hosts Beyazıt Öztürk is joking about how they couldn’t manage Tarkan to be a guest for their show.
Only the largest companies in the country could pay for the value he positioned on himself. He has only worked with the leading brands of the industry. He didn’t deal with any detergent, soap, vitamin ads. Advertising with Tarkan was a value proposition in itself. He said no to the Beyaz Show in the video. He didn’t even try to be public or appear.
If we talk about Tarkan today, 30 years later, it is necessary to see this strategic decision and understand how we will use it in our brands.
Being a brand is valuable
Being a brand separates you from commodities. This separation allows you to sell your product more expensive than other goods and services. It creates meaning on the product and helps to establish an occasional mental connection with your brand. When you buy a branded product, you don’t just consume the benefits of the product; buying a brand also gives you confidence, inner satisfaction, and status. For this reason, there are fans who follow the new models and new colors of real brands. They embed the brand in their lives. As the brand is more than just a product, it finds a place in daily life, symbolizes a lifestyle. It expresses a stance. It becomes part of the culture. Only the brand alone makes an impact.
Our story is no different in the “Tarkan” brand. Would you achieve this much effect if you released the song “Geççek” with another brand today? The brand had more of an impact on the song’s popularity yesterday than the song’s melody, musicality, or lyrics (more than the product).
If you become a brand, people will talk about you. They will speak about your brand. They will sell your brand. They will attach your brand to them. They take advantage of the brand’s value and offer benefits to you as well. This is also the same case for Apple, someone using a Moleskine notebook, or someone eating at Nusret.
Tarkan is no exception. The Tarkan brand is a powerful influence.
A brand is a movement
Products exist to solve needs, but brands are more than just needs. While products can solve a problem, brands can achieve much more.
Authentic brands have a purpose for their existence. A reason they built on a “meaning” and persistently tried to answer. Nike tries to get us moving. National Geographic ignites our sense of discovery, our curiosity. Let’s leave an inspiring example below. “Wolf: Reclaim The Kitchen”
Tarkan brand is a brand in the entertainment industry. The emphasis is on entertaining, making people happy, and giving hope. He embraced being a social unifier with his composition for the national team back in the day. In addition, he had broadened his semantic mix on issues such as violence against women and the environment. It seems that he has now taken the flag of “hope” for these difficult days we live in. He creates work by taking the risk of being opposed in a place where the pandemic and the economic crisis are bothering everyone. Let’s hear it from his own words:
“About a year ago, I went through a period when my mood was not very good. So many things such as the pandemic, the sad events happening in the world, the alarming course of humanity, the destruction of nature had a very negative effect on me, and I seemed to lose hope. In these moments, the lyrics and the melody of the song echoed in me: ‘Shall go, this too shall go. You will see that your hope will shine again.’ So I said I should write a song that will be good for all of us.”
The indispensable condition of being a brand is an existential crisis, to understand and explain why it exists.
Now it’s time to ask questions:
Does your brand (yourself) or the brands you manage ever ask themself why? What do they mean? What meaning are you building for your brand?
It’s your turn to answer.