This week begins another new feature to Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row; SWOT analysis. Being an accountant in my day job and spending time in the business world I have always wanted to bring some of my real world experience in to my Southern Gospel blogging, but never really saw how I could meld the two. Businesses tend to periodically do what is called a SWOT analysis to determine both internal and external factors affecting their business.
I thought, wouldn’t this be interesting to use in analyzing current Southern Gospel artists biggest strengths and weaknesses. So sit back and read my thoughts on our inaugural SWOT analysis on the Hoppers.
- Song selection: For the last two decades the Hoppers have become masters at selecting the perfect song. They have created mega-songs that continue to connect with fans and reap rewards for the group. ”Shouting Time”, “Jerusalem”, “I’ve Come Too Far”, “Yes I Am”, “Yahweh”. Need I say more.
- Stability: For that same twenty year period they have had no vocal personnel changes. Dean, Kim, Connie and Claude have become fixtures that every fan expect to see on stage when they go see the Hoppers in concert.
- The female duo of Connie and Kim: Connie’s rich alto and heartfelt testimonies along with Kim’s power house soprano vocals continue to keep this group at the top of their game. Having the Hoppers without either of these ladies would not be the Hoppers.
- Stage presence: The Hoppers command a concert stage. They have become masters at providing the audience with a memorable concert experience.
- Business savvy: The Hoppers, with Claude at the helm is one of the best group’s in the Southern Gospel industry that understand that a successful group is run like a successful business.
- Overuse of tracks: While no artist is immune from this in today’s Southern Gospel experience, it would be nice to get some scale back on the use of tracks and stacked vocals. I really don’t need to hear an orchestra in the track if there is no live orchestra there to provide the music.
- Claude’s overused jokes: One of the best business men in the Southern Gospel industry tends to fall flat on most of his jokes. I think that is now the schtick.
- A true reunion video: With the Hoppers celebrating 55 years in 2012, it would be nice to see a reunion video bringing back former members through the years. It would be nice to see configurations of the group from the ’60′s, ’70′s, ’80′s and current.
- The Hoppers 2.0: The group should start using Karlye and Mike more on certain songs to get the crowd use to what a new Hoppers would look and sound like when Claude and Connie retire from the road, or at least cut back from the group’s current full-time schedule.
- Claude and Connie retiring from the road: With stability mentioned as one of the group’s strengths, when Claude and Connie retire from the road, that will be a huge blow to the group.
- Concert promoters: When some of the biggest Southern Gospel concert promoters in the industry start owing group’s money, one can only imagine the smaller promoters. This not only affects the Hoppers, but every full-time artist in the industry.
- Collingsworth Family: On a lighter note, I believe the Collingsworth Family is close to dethroning the Hoppers as mixed group of the year. This is not an indictment on the Hoppers current popularity, but more of a changing of the guard as part of the Collingsworth Family’s success.
***NEXT SWOT ANALYSIS: BOOTH BROTHERS***