Few people have demonstrated a true understanding of identity and image like David Bowie. His readiness to embrace change and constant evolution as an artist and brand means that we are left with not one enduring image of him, but many. The many faces of Bowie include Ziggy Stardust and The Thin White Duke. He took people on a journey and left them fascinated. It was not just the music that we bought in to, but the varying personas and story.
With a background in design and advertising, it is no wonder that Bowie understood the impact of identity, but to harness it in such a daring and innovative way was genius. He transcended music, applying his unique talents and personalities to other industries and achieving further success. His constant evolution meant that he himself re-defined his audience as he broke new ground, whilst retaining the loyalty of his existing fan base.
So what can we learn from the great man? He shows how important it is to always seek progression and growth, to not settle and stand still. When he wanted to break in to other areas, he re-defined himself as a brand and product. A great brand never stands still and is consistently evolving. By doing this it retains a freshness and mentality that will always preserve it in the eyes of the audience. People admired Bowie for the risks he took and millions adored the results of those risks. He constantly sought inspiration and to push the boundaries of his identity. As a brand, he will always be associated with innovation, character, longevity and style. Surely that is a legacy that anyone would want?