“Happy New Year
Happy New Year
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbor is a friend
Happy New Year
Happy New Year
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we don’t we might as well lay down and die
You and I”

Happy New Year


I know this is an easy one but I had to use it because I heard ABBA is planning for a reunion tour this year. And this made me think of how important a good brand is.

I mean look at ABBA, their songs are more than 40 years old but have stood the test of time. They have had so many hits and people all over the world love them. So what lessons can we learn from them?

1. You need to put yourself out there to be discovered!
Even though the odds were against them (with regards to superstardom), coming from Sweden I don’t think people would have said in the early seventies that the next big thing in music would come from Sweden. But then came Waterloo. And the Eurovision songfestival. The band knew that to really make an impact they needed a hit in the UK and needed to be visible so after their first attempt for the Eurovision songfestival failed in ’73 they tried again in ’74 with Waterloo. They knew a good platform would help them advance in their career. Ladies, for this year think like an artist, nobody will “discover” you unless you put yourself out there.

2. Have a recognizable brand.
The 4 of them, 4 letters in the bands name and with the 2 women singing the songs and the 2 men playing the instruments was a great combination. Their outfits where hysterical and a huge part of their brand.The pictures looked amazing because it was easy and always recognizable. But they didn’t stop there. In 1975 the band hired an advertising specialist to design their album covers and the ABBA logo. The logo was simple and instantly iconic, with the first “B” turned backward to make the logo symmetrical. So ladies, think of that one thing about you that is so you, that will make it easy to let you stand out from a crowd.

3. Focus on developing your craft.
When the band was still together they wrote hit after hit. And they were able to always deliver simple yet catchy songs. Benny Andersson once described the proces of writing a song by saying “EVERY SONGWRITER NEEDS TO SIT THERE, KEEP GOING, AND WAIT FOR ‘IT’ TO HAPPEN”. Meaning you have to focus and work on it (whatever you want to achieve), because then it will happen. So just don’t give up after your first try. Be consistent ladies.

I am amazed that the quality of their songs have not diminished over time. I listen to them now and consider them masterpieces because you can still hear the passion they had writing and singing them.

So I guess my biggest lesson learned from them is, whatever you do this year … do it with passion.