I remember the first time I was introduced to Lenny Kravitz. I was about 12 years old playing at a friends house with VH1 Soul music videos playing in the background and Lenny’s video “It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over,” came on and I was immediately drawn in. To this day, as a 30 something year young woman, that is still one of my favorite Lenny songs and I recently realized about a year or two ago that I’ve had a crush on they guy the whole time!! So what is it about Lenny that attracts so many fans, admirers? What makes him unique? What does he offer that compels and resonates with his audience? Or in other words, what is his Unique Selling Proposition (Kaputa, 2012)?
Besides the obvious facts that Lenny is super sexy, a rockstar, great singer-songwriter-musician if we look closely at his online identity we can pick out what his USP is, if it’s working for him, what lessons one can learn about creating and maintaining a successful USP.
L-E-N-N-Y: Lover, Endearing, Natural, Naughty, Youthful
So I thought I’d have a little fun with Lenny’s name and use it as an acronym for his USP. Besides that fact that Lenny is a great musician and is super sexy (because that helps too), what I think is Lenny’s USP is that he is a LOVER, he’s ENDEARING, he’s NATURAL, he’s NAUGHTY and he’s YOUTHFUL.
Who doesn’t love a hopeless romantic. If you listen to any of Lenny’s songs, they’re all about Love, waiting for Love, fighting for Love, loving somebody, loving life and loving freedom. Check out another one of my Lenny favorites “I’ll Be Waiting.”
I’ve never met Lenny, but what he presents online makes me feel like he’s such a sweet guy and if I ever met him we’d be long lost friends. The pictures he post on his Facebook page are of him laughing, smiling, hanging out with recognizable and unknown faces. It does not seem like he’s so caught up on being a celebrity but that he’s a down to earth respectful type of guy. In one picture he’s kneeling down and intently listening to Jazz whom he describes as “Legendary Jazz Guitarist Kenny Burrell” (Kravitz, 2016).
Also on his Facebook page, he’s recorded a live acoustic song called “Thinking of You,” special just for his mom!
Doesn’t that just warm your heart? I know it warms mine. I’m a mom and would melt to pieces if my song made a special song just for me! In addition, it shows Lenny’s very human side. He’s got a mom and he misses her. That’s a real thing all of us can relate to.
I had to also share this video on his own YouTube page of him, jamming out with the VOP choir, showing another example of his endearing humility.
Lenny’s Twitter and Instagram shares much of the same photos as his Facebook page and includes more of his travels, studio sessions and gives you the sense that again he is respectful of those that came before him and shows homage.
Not only is Lenny natural personal style and selling factor, but he himself seems very natural and authentic, nothing fake about his personality as he shows on his social media platforms. His hairstyles, in particular, have been a drawing point. Fans have made how to Lenny hair-do videos and lifestyle blogs are keeping track of his attractive natural styles throughout the years and his hair care routine.
NAUGHTY and YOUTHFUL
What is about the “bad boy” that people like? Lenny is not all the way bad, but just enough to be a little naughty. I can see him on a date being the perfect gentlemen but at the end of the night, you probably know what’s going down. There’s something about the “Lover,” “Bad Boy,” image that makes him a winner. He’s a good guy with a great heart but hey he’s not a saint either.
Did you know Lenny is about 51 years old? He sure doesn’t come off as one who is “old” and “tired.” His online identity portrays a very youthful, fun loving person still living, still enjoying life, still making good music, and now movies and looking good doing it. Ohh and the not so older guy that gets the young hot girl.
You bet Lenny’s USP is working for him. He’s a grammy award winning artist whose musical career has continued thrived since 1989 (BE, 2016). He’s recently expanded to acting in successful films (BE, 2016). namely “The Hunger Games”, “Precious,” “The Butler,” and has ventured into interior design (Flamer, 2016). His social media accounts FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram average around 4-5 million followers (not Katy Perry) but not bad. His YouTube subscription is pretty low at 102k however, get’s millions of views. Overall, I’d say he’s longevity as an entertainer is evidence enough Lenny’s Unique Selling Proposition is on point.
So what can I learn from Lenny? Be authentic, show the pleasant, fun side of your personality. Smile a lot, laugh a lot, engage others, post frequently on social media, be friendly, own your own style, show humility, be respectful and show honor to others (especially, those who’ve paved the way for you), while being great at what you do. In other words, capitalize on the strengths. I’m sure he’s got some weaknesses or even things that make him tick. But I’m not really sure what those are and I think that’s a good thing too because although we get a sense of who Lenny is, he allows there to be still some mystery to him- which keeps his audiences intrigued.
Biography.com Editors [BE] (2016, March 9) Lenny Kravitz biography. A&E Television Networks. Retrieved from http://www.biography.com/people/lenny-kravitz-20871647
Flamer, K (2016, January 26) Lenny Kravitz Rocks Design Like Nobody’s Business. Forbes.com. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/keithflamer/2016/01/26/lenny-kravitz-rocks-design-like-nobodys-business/#3c7181587e04
Kaputa, C (2012) You are a brand! In person and online, how smart people brand themselves for business success. Nicholas Brealey Publishing Second Edition 2012
Kravitz, L. [Lenny Kravitz] (2016, February 27 )Sunset Sound Studios, Hollywood. In session with legendary jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell. #Negrophilia [FaceBook Status Update]] Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/lennykravitz/photos/a.95723633389.85048.5150088389/10153962700168390/?type=3&theater
Cover Photo: Mathieu Bitton