Gapers Block has a great piece on Hanson, the band.
Hanson is a great case study for the music business and the business business. They’re a group of guys — brothers, no less — who love what they do and don’t care what you think. They’ve built a deeply loyal fan base, they’ve built a great business, and they’ve been able to mobilize their fans to support causes that the band — and their fans — believe in.
And they’ve done all this after being written off and largely ignored.
What I found most impressive about the story is how dedicated they are to their community. They are part of the community, not just facilitators of the community. For example, to promote charity, and their “Walk Around the World” tour, they are walking a mile with their fans before each show. For each mile walked, the band donates one dollar on the walker’s behalf to one of five causes the walker can choose from. That’s just cool.
I think the whole Hanson story is simple one of dedication, product, and patience. They’re dedicated to their music, they put out a solid product, and their patience has allowed them to sustain long-term success. They’ve made it on their own terms on their own schedule.
Sidenote: In a strange set of circumstances involving Ryan Singer and his former employer, I happened to go see a Hanson show at the House of Blues in Chicago a few years ago. I was impressed and thoroughly entertained. I also got a chance to meet the guys and was impressed by their down to earth nature and genuine love for what they get to do every night. They love their music, they love their fans, their fans love them, and their fans love their music. It’s the perfect loop.