Australia’s greatest musical export AC-DC recently returned to home soil for a major sell-out tour.

These guys are simply amazing. Still rocking after all these years, packing in the crowds year after year after year. Who would have thought the band would still be one of the biggest rock acts in the world some 35 years after their formation in Australia in 1974?

POP QUIZ: What was the first gig AC-DC played? (check the answer at the bottom of the post!).

Let’s face it, any brand would kill for AC-DC’s longevity, their cross-generational appeal and the fanatical fan base that continues to buy their product year in, year out.

So what can brands learn from AC-DC?

1.  Consistency

AC-DC has been consistent in a number of ways for the past three+ decades. Angus Young’s school uniform, the driving bass and the thumping drumbeat, and the no-nonsense blokey song titles are core trademarks of AC-DC’s look and sound.

And, by all reports, the band’s concerts certainly live up to all the hype. These guys are consistent performers!

2.  No frills

With AC-DC, what you see is what you get. Joint ‘CEOs’ (spokesmen Angus Young and Brian Johnson) come across as a pair of fair dinkum blokes, no artifice airs or graces from these guys despite their exalted rock god status. The band’s attitude, like their music, is down-to-earth. People like that!

3.  Give the customer what they want

AC-DC know their audience and they don’t muck them about. This comes back to consistency. Give the punter what they want and they’ll keep coming back for more. AC-DC do that better than most.

4.  Remain true to your roots

AC-DC understands the high degree of respect their fans hold for the band’s former lead singer, the late Bon Scott. The band itself also hold their mate in high regard – as a mark of respect, they steadfastly refuse to play the anthem “It’s a Long Way to the Top” at their concerts. They’ve always remained true to the spirit of Bon Scott, and the fans respect this.

Even the recruitment of Brian Johnson was classic rock ‘n’ roll. Track down this dude from some no-name band and give him a shot at fronting one of the biggest live acts in the world. Fairytale stuff!

(Interestingly, yesterday was the 30th anniversary of Bon Scott’s death).

5.  Don’t screw the marketplace

AC-DC could make millions of extra dollops of cash if they wanted to simply by doubling their output of recorded music. By keeping the new stuff a bit scarce, they keep demand for their music at a premium. Ditto for touring.

Not touring for years builds massive anticipation for their concerts (although I suspect the reason they don’t tour much is the fact they’re all around the 60-year age mark!).

This is one brand you’re not going to see line-extended within an inch of its life!

What can your brand learn from AC-DC?