Elvis Presley was an American singer and actor. He was born on January 8, 1935, and died on August 16, 1977, aged 42. Presley had a successful career and as a result, he has been referred to as the King of Rock and Roll. A myth is a symbolic narrative whose origin is usually not known and is mostly traditional and relates to actual events (Myth, 2016). On the other hand, a legend is a traditional story narrated by a particular person or place (Legend, 2016). The data presented on Graceland.com depicts Presley as both a myth and a legend. He is an artist who continues to be widely popular in death as he was in life. Mythically, it could be argued that Presley has been portrayed to have had an extraordinary life and career. Though it is true that the events that are described in the text happened, they have been described in elevated language that makes them appear amazing. Such words as “revolutionary” and “forever” give Presley a mythical image. Presley can also be said to have been a legend. His life and the Graceland home in Memphis, TN, that he lived in for two decades have become of historical interest because of the artifacts they hold (Graceland, 2016). The website creates an impression that Elvis is still alive by using the phrase: “Direct from Graceland: For the First Time in 40 Years, Elvis is Back in the Building” showing that his relevance is both only historical and a present-day reality.
Graceland.com uses certain terms and concepts as a means of doing marketing to entice consumers and keep the website relevant. Some of the marketing techniques the website uses include partnering with allies, making use of content generated by users, letting customers interact, venturing out into new outreach platforms, striving to maintain existing customers, and taking advantage of the effect of nostalgia.
Graceland.com has collaborated with allies Elvis Radio and Elvis.com with the aim of generating more appealing content. With the use of marketing skills from these two affiliate partners, it is easier for Graceland.com to achieve success fast and to reach out to new audiences. Skilled professionals employed to do strategic planning and marketing for these two business partners could combine their skill and talent to produce marketing content quickly. The downside of this is that it requires coordinated teamwork, and it could fail in case some of the involved parties are not cooperative. Grraceland.com also makes use of user-generated content in that fans are allowed to share photos and experiences of their Graceland experience on the platform availed by the website on Instagram. Such images are likely to entice other visitors to the website and Graceland, Memphis, TN. While it is possible that some fans may post authentic images of their visit to Graceland, it is also possible that the Instagram forum is open to abuse. Some fans might want to create an impression that they have been to Graceland and thus, manipulate images using such software as Photoshop. This method is, therefore, open to abuse.
The website has also made use of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Google + to let customers interact. On these social networks, customers can share audio, visual and audio-visual content which is a way of drawing more customers to the enterprise. Just as explained above concerning Instagram, these networks are also open to abuse and manipulation and thus one cannot be totally certain of the authenticity of material posted and shared on these forums. Additionally, the website has made a deliberate attempt to maintain existing customers by providing a platform for buying tickets, offering attractive packages and offering shopping merchandise and memorabilia. These memorial artifacts, some of which area displayed as images on the website are skillfully and attractively emblazoned with old-time images and messages from Presley, which is part of the reason customers find the Elvis brand attractive. This is a marketing technique that could be useful to the website but in some cases, it has been exaggerated. One of the images had a photo of Presley in office-wear and placed against a background of the flag of the United States in campaign material supposedly for the 2016 Elections. “Vote Elvis Presley for President,” says the banner. The message underneath it asks voters to cast their ballots for “the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” who is also “the perfect candidate for President” (Graceland, 2016). While this is meant to make the website retain its relevance, it makes a mockery of the office of the election of the holder of President of the United States which cannot be held posthumously.
The website has also used a comprehensive photo gallery, written texts that avail great volumes of information about Presley’s life and career, and a live online stream to make the website relevant by offering users real-time footage. This acts as a source of information on Presley although there are other sources like books and journals that would contain similar information.
Santiago (2015 p. 15) describes Presley as an “icon” of popular music in the US. “The King” has been able to retain a loyal following over the years for different reasons. The reasons behind his popularity include his erotic dance moves, his recordings, his attitude, and his dressing style which have come to be viewed as the embodiments of rock and roll. With the increase of platforms through which music can be shared, youths have been able to access Presley’s music which many find appealing because of dressing styles like open-necked shirts. An increasingly liberal society has also implied that youths are free to choose the kind of music they want to listen to. Teens often opt for the music that helps them assert their independence as does that of Presley.
The strategy to use to introduce Presley’s music to today’s teen consumer generation using that data available on Graceland.com is as follows. My unique selling position is that I am marketing music by an icon of American popular music, Elvis Presley, whose art has been relevant for close to half of a century. My target market is today’s teen generation. The benefits of the music are as follows: an introduction to music that has retained its relevance for many years, interaction with cultural and historical material from the past, and creating knowledge of America’s iconic artist. My services will be targeted at recreational places that are frequented by teens and media like TV through the use of cartoons are animations which are likely to capture their attention. Finally, my marketing methods will include using internet forums and direct marketing.