Freshening Up a Stale Business Model

Ken Mueller Owner/Partner, Inkling Media

Posted on September 10th 2013

Freshening Up a Stale Business Model

elvisquest 300x247 Freshening Up a Stale Business ModelJust because you’ve always done it this way all along, doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels.

Just because you’ve found success doing your thing, doesn’t mean you can always do that same thing in the same way.

The world of rock music is littered with the carcasses of has beens and those who are no longer relevant, but are content to travel the country playing their greatest hits to an aging crowd that can’t “get down” quite the way they used to. Then again, neither can those rockers.

Oh, sure they make a pretty good living, but probably not like the days when they were playing arenas and stadiums to a throng of screaming fans. They still put out new albums based on the same old formula that made them hits, and yet the fans still want the old stuff, the hits. New hits are few and far between, if existent at all.

I thought about this yesterday as I was live streaming the new album from Elvis Costello & The Roots, Wise Up Ghost. Costello is one of the pioneers of new wave, with his first album coming out in 1977. The Roots are one of the most respected and critically acclaimed hip hop bands. And the album is wonderful.

Costello had a lot of hits in the seventies and eighties with a very distinct sound. He could have kept recording those same hit sounds over and over, but he didn’t.

Over the years he has stayed relevant by experimenting and working on unique collaborations. Known as an angry young rocker in his earliest days, he has gone on to record albums with the Brodsky Quartet, Marian McPartland, Burt Bacharach, Allen Toussaint, and more.  His recordings have ranged from rock and pop to jazz, classical, standards, blues, and R&B.

And all along the way, he has done this without alienating his core fans. In fact, they have to come to expect and embrace these sorts of departures and diversions. Plus, it’s exposed his music to plenty of new fans who might not know him and his music, but are fans of his collaborators. And, he’s gained a lot of respect along the way.

Costello doesn’t want to get stale. He could be very comfortable recording off of his early formula for success, but that’s not good enough for him. He wants to keep moving forward and trying new things, and this new album with The Roots is the latest step in that for him.

How about your business? Are you using the tried and true methods you’ve been using for years, or are you trying new things, and reaching out to new, untapped audiences?

Take some time to rethink your business model and business practices. Breathe new life into your business by stepping out and trying new things. 



Ken Mueller

Owner/Partner, Inkling Media

The founder of Inkling Media, where he does social media and marketing for small and medium-sized businesses. He also is an adjunct professor at the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, teaching continuing education classes in social media and inbound marketing.
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Posted on September 11th 2013 at 2:50AM

Change is a strong word, especially when you take a very big leap of faith to your business model. Popular culture is on constant acceleration, and so does the market. That’s why you need to catch up quick or else you will be left behind.