Apocalyptica, a cello metal band from Helsinki, has one of the strongest ‘Made in Finland’ brands. For almost 30 years of its existence, it has managed to build a solid brand, acclaimed worldwide. The secret behind Apocalyptica’s success is its unconventional approach to metal music: metal played by 3 cellos and drums is transformed into a unique experience of symphonic metal. Apocalyptica’s ability to monetize its music could be an example to other musicians as well as businesses. There are 5 main points worth business attention:
1. Less marketing and more content. If you check Apocalyptica’s official website and social media profiles, you will immediately notice that the band does not use any hard sales tactics. Instead of being direct and pushy, it focuses on nurturing the relationship with its fans in order to transform them into long-term customers. Apocalyptica values its fans: the content it shares is both informative and engaging. The band does not practice empty marketing: it tries to appeal to its audience with meaningful and interesting messages.
2. Simple yet outstanding public image. Apocalyptica’s dress code is simply black, as is the norm in the metal music industry. Still, their image is unique: each band member tries to adjust their clothes so that they would reflect their unique personalities. Apocalyptica’s public image is not about fashion: their clothes communicate their passion for the music they play. The simplicity of Apocalyptica’s looks still attracts a lot of attention, and makes them stand out in the market.
3. Upcycling. Apocalyptica started its career by playing some pieces of Metallica’s music. In many cases, Apocalyptica’s covers are more powerful than the originals. “Fade to Black” is a perfect example of music upcycling: many fans would agree that Apocalyptica’s cover of the song is of much better quality, and that the cello music sends a more powerful message. Businesses could also adopt the same strategy: instead of starting something from scratch, look for upcycling alternatives. Just like Apocalyptica, you might end up creating something better than the original.
4. To-the-point communication. Very often websites and social media profiles are cluttered with information. Businesses and individuals alike want to provide as much information as they can, regardless if it is needed or not. Apocalyptica takes the opposite approach: it talks to the point on all its platforms. Its communication is direct, which is part of Finnish culture. To-the-point communication is efficient, saves time, and highlights only the key message.
5. Creating your own niche and exploring its potential. Apocalyptica has successfully created its own niche within the metal music industry: cello or symphonic metal. The juxtaposition of symphonic music with metal has opened up many new opportunities, which Apocalyptica has been exploring over the past 30 years. The band’s ability to create its own niche also means monopoly: there are no significant competitors; no market share.