DHT, Listen To Your Heart, and Flanking Strategy

In 1988, Listen To Your Heart was the third single issued in the USA by the Swedish pop duo Roxette. In this post, I’ll use the song as fun example of flanking marketing strategy. First, the original song/video.

(Sorry, but EMI disallows embedding, so you’ll have to press the above link to hear it.)

Then, in 2005 the Belgian dance group DHT released several trance cover versions (i.e., remakes) of the song. Here is one such example, the “hardcore remix”:

Now it starts to get interesting. Based on the success of the trance cover versions, later that year DHT then releases an acoustic version of the song, which goes on to receive substantial airplay. Here it is:

Now, not being an music expert, I can’t say anything for sure, but what are the odds that DHT would have done anywhere near as well by entering the market with a directly competitive Listen To Your Heart? My guess: quite low. Heck, even Alvin and the Chipmunks have remade this song.

In my estimation, the magic — the reason it all worked — was they entered the market on a non-competitive flank (club music) and then, once established, bridged from there into making a what I consider a better-than-original acoustic version of the song.

But “better” isn’t the point. Simply having a better version on the initial attack would have gotten them nowhere. But building a strong position in the trance genre (flanking) and then bridging made all the difference.

One response to “DHT, Listen To Your Heart, and Flanking Strategy

  1. Thanks for ruining my day – now that song is stuck in my head.

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