Earlier this week, The Rolling Stones made a triumphant return to the world stage with the first of their concerts to mark their 50th anniversary. On Sunday 26 November 2012 at London’s O2 Arena, the legendary band, with some help from ex-band mates Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman, along with Mary J. Blige and Jeff Beck, tore through a 23 song set-list encompassing songs from very old (I Wanna Be Your Man) to very new (Doom and Gloom).
For two and a half hours, the Stones delivered a show that belied their respective ages and the 20,000 fans lapped it all up.
How do The Stones do it?
How do they remain so incredibly popular after all these years at an age when most people have been retired for years or have virtually no chance of finding a job to match their skills?
It’s primarily due to front man, Mick Jagger.
Sir Mick is the undisputed business genius of the band. With a personal fortune estimated at over £200 million pounds Jagger has ensured that he and his band mates have made plenty of money to match their popularity.
Jagger takes nothing for granted about The Stones’ popularity. Each tour has been bigger and more spectacular than the one before it. The set lists always contain plenty of the classic hits as well as a few songs from the most recent album.
Jagger understands that as long as the fans have a great experience at a Stones concert then they will keep coming back. This was revealed in fascinating detail in the 2008 Martin Scorsese concert film Shine A Light when more than once Jagger is shown in conversation with Scorsese expressing concern about the likelihood that the fans at the show will be annoyed by the frequently moving cameras being used to shoot the film inside the theatre.
The Beacon Theatre in New York, where the concert was being filmed, has a capacity of 2,894 seats. The Stones, at that point, had 45 years of popularity. The worldwide audience of the movie was likely to be millions of people. Any normal rock star would be totally unconcerned about the small inconvenience that less than three thousand people may experience when the point of their attendance was to be part of an audience for a concert movie of one of the biggest groups in the history of rock music.
Yet, here was Jagger fretting about the possibility of the customer experience of a single, tiny Stones gig being less than 100% satisfactory.
What loyalty could you expect from your customers if you had a customer service attitude like Mick Jagger’s?