Donny Osmond Tells Summit Audience: Respect Your Brand

Dan Berthiaume, Adobe’s director of CMO Communications, spoke with the multitalented entertainer about how he has built a diverse, Osmond-branded portfolio using an omnichannel approach.

Donny Osmond Tells Summit Audience: Respect Your Brand editor in chief Tim Moran’s October interview with Donny Osmond was among the website’s most-read articles of 2015. Given the multitalented entertainer’s story—one that spans 50-plus years and includes undeniable business, marketing, and technology acumen—that’s hardly a surprise.

On stage at the Adobe Summit, Dan Berthiaume, Adobe’s director of CMO Communications, continued the conversation with Donny about how he has built a diverse, Osmond-branded portfolio using an omnichannel approach.

Keeping A Brand Fresh While Reinventing It Over The Years

• “That’s a key word no matter who you are or what business you are in—reinvention. There are four Rs that I always think about: retool, rebuild, reinvent, reboot. You’ve got to do this. You can’t look back at your successes. You always have to be thinking forward.”

• “Respect the brand you’ve built. Don’t alienate it. Build upon it. Remember that the brand belongs to your audience. You’ve got to protect it and not ruin it. It is very fragile.”

• “Years ago, you used to do a five-year business plan. Now you do a five-minute plan because you have to look at what is going on to be on top of things.”

Connecting With Your Audience

• “You’ve always got to win people over. Give them more than they expect.”

• “Winning ‘Dancing With The Stars’ was the most fun thing and the scariest thing I’ve done in my career because you never know if you are going to get kicked off. But it opened up a whole new audience. Right after I won, at one of my Flamingo shows, this 10-year-old boy came up to me after the show and said, ‘Mr. Osmond, I didn’t know you could sing, too.’”

• “I am constantly thinking about how I can expand my audience by being in different mediums. You have to get out of your comfort zone, use the 4 Rs, and constantly look at new things.”

• “When I was in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,’ my director told me something that changed my perspective about show business or any presentation forever. He said, ‘The theatre is a place where people come to dream in public, and you are in charge of that dream.’ This is a huge charge for anybody that stands on the stage because you are manipulating people’s emotions.”

• “When you are delivering an experience, you’ve got to keep it real, genuine, authentic. People want to see something real. I can spot a fake, and so can audiences.”

• “Give people 110% of what you’ve got. If you want to be the best, you’ve got to give better than everybody else.”

• “When people come to one of my shows, I don’t give them a concert. I give them an experience. I want to make a connection. After a concert in New York City, a fan came up to me and said, ‘That was an experience. I feel like I know you.’”

Using Technology

• “When I started my career, I used the latest tech tools of the industry. I’ve always been involved with tech, and I get involved with everything. When I was 16, I assembled the state-of-the-art studio console that we used to do most of our recordings.”

• “I put together the tech equipment that runs the mixing, sound, lighting, etc., for our current show. The devil is in the details. When people come to see us at the Flamingo, they come to see the show. They don’t know what is going on behind the stage, which is more than what is happening on stage.”

Building And Leading A Smart Team

• “Donny Osmond Home started out as a hobby five years ago. It has blown up, and now we are shipping furniture all over the country. My wife and I are smart enough to know that we are not designers. We bring the professionals in. If you want to be successful, you surround yourself with successful people who know things you don’t. But you still need to be hands-on. You can’t just say, ‘Now go sell it for me.’ When we open up showrooms across the country, I am there for the launch. If you want something to be successful, you’ve got to be involved. It can’t just be your name. And when you get involved, you learn the ropes of the business.”

More: Adobe Summit 2016: Team Coverage

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