Philip Morgan

Well, after Friday's email I know a lot more about my list and your music taste! :->

The lyric, "Tell me, what's wrong with a little grind and bump" appears in Beck's song Elevator Music. Although that line was probably inspired by R. Kelly's song Bump n. Grind, that exact lyric doesn't appear in the R. Kelly song.

At the time I wrote Friday's email I didn't realize such a large segment of my list has really bad music taste!!

Kidding. :) I love you all equally...

That said, only 3 people correctly identified the lyric in question: Justin, Lester, and Jennifer.

There's actually an interesting lesson or two in there about positioning. In no particular order:

Market leaders have an outsized "market footprint".

Positioning was first defined as "owning a word in the mind".

R. Kelly clearly owns the phrase "bump n' grind" in the mind of a lot of people, and so even when something similar but different comes up in conversation, most people connect it with the owner of that word: R. Kelly.

That's one of the results of market leadership. Even if you're not a perfect fit for someone's needs, your prominence in the market makes you the "go-to" first choice.


The album with R. Kelly's song Bump n' Grind was released in 1993, while Beck's song Elevator Music came out in 2006. R. Kelly's song has had a lot more repetition, which helps with that owning-a-word-in-the-mind thing.

Reminds me, once again, of that DHH quote: "If you want to have an impact, be prepared to say the same thing for a decade." Positioning can get results quickly, but it's best played as a long game.

Mass vs. Niche Markets

Finally, R. Kelly is a mass-market artist, Beck is more of a niche market artist.

Beck has an estimated net worth of $16MM, while R. Kelly's estimated net worth is $150MM. I'd be happy with either net worth, but I'd rather have Beck's fan base. It's the more passionate one. It's the one that will buy every new album no matter what.

Niche markets and mass markets require very different marketing approaches. That's probably a subject for another email (added to my TODO list :) ).

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