Lessons in Branding from Dee Snider

"My formula for success isn't necessarily what people want to hear. It's 10% inspiration and 90% desperation," says the Twisted Sisters frontman

Written by PROFIT Staff

Frequently cited as one of rock music’s greatest frontmen, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister also has a flare for the theatric: Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale was on stage at Toronto’s Winter Garden Theatre around the turn of the year.

In November last year, Snider talked to Courtney Shea about how to feel confident when pitching, how to grab an audience’s attention and keep it, and what he learned from Donald Trump about branding. Here are five things you can learn from their conversation, which you can read in full here.

On connecting with an audience

“You let them know you are large and in charge. It’s the way you stand, the way you carry yourself. Being a frontman is less about your voice than your ability to connect with a crowd. A frontman is a salesman. Steve Jobs was a frontman. Wozniak was the great songwriter, but he couldn’t sell the thing he created. He needed the cock rocker Jobs to say, €˜Pay attention to this!'”

On confidence

“I wasn’t always confident, but confidence is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It starts as false bravado—you’re acting like you’re cool and confident even when you’re not—but if you’re convincing enough, people start to believe it. Then you start to believe it and then it’s the reality.”

On branding

“The other guys in the band would always change their look from night to night—different hair, different makeup. I did the same face every night —the makeup, the suit. So much of branding is repetition: Repeat, repeat, repeat. I understood why they wanted to change it up, but they didn’t understand why I didn’t. My face became the face. I carry the legend of Twisted Sister. Nobody knows who the other guys are.”

On Donald Trump’s brand

“What I learned from him: Take credit for everything and put your name on it. It’s Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale, The House of Hair with Dee Snider, Dee Snider’s Strangeland.”

On success

“When I was in Twisted Sister, I put all my eggs in one basket. I was myopic in my vision. I never thought it would end, and then one day I woke up and I was in my 30s, married with three children, and I’d lost everything. Double bankruptcy. Grunge came, and I still needed to feed my family. My formula for success isn’t necessarily what people want to hear. It’s 10% inspiration and 90% desperation.”

For the rest of Shea’s conversation with Snider, including more thoughts on Trump and his own famous hairdo, click here.


Is consistency the key to branding? What do you do to up your confidence when it needs a little boost? Let us know by commenting below.

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