Brand this Way

27 Feb

It is the best of times and the worst of times for the music industry. Despite declining album sales since the 1980s, the Internet enables virtually everyone to post their music online and attract worldwide viewers. However, accomplishing this weighty goal of a large audience can prove difficult: for example, thousands of aspiring artists upload their songs to YouTube, Tweet, and blog furiously, but end up going desperately unnoticed.

This is where Lady Gaga comes in. The corporate world can learn much from this 25-year-old diva about building a brand. Because of her astonishing talent for branding, Harvard Business School even wrote a case study on her, teaching its students to likewise produce a meat-dress-clad phenomenon.

Below are some of the personal branding lessons we could all learn:

Live your brand. Lady Gaga clearly defines her brand identity and makes sure it is properly embraced by the audience. She always stays in character. Instead of a performer who dresses up in goofy costumes from time to time, she portrays herself as a unique and creative artist who lives her entire life outside the box. Living the brand makes someone unique and extraordinary.

Understand the audience. Lady Gaga knows what makes the people she needs to impress tick. She often shares stories about her own life with her fans, or “Little Monsters,” as she calls them, and manages to mirror her fans’ personal problems as she reveals her insecurities and lists her own many mistakes. In this way, she creates a powerful connection with her community.

Utilize social media. Lady Gaga writes her own Tweets; few artists have been as adept as Lady Gaga at using social media to reach their fans. Last summer, she used Twitter to hint about her surprise performances. The fans reacted favorably and gathered at the implied venues from early evening. She eventually showed up and shared a brilliant night with her fans. Social media can be a wonderful way to interact with the crowd.

Stay connected to creativity. From the exceptional meat dress to the app created for her fans, Lady Gaga never lacks originality, which is part of the reason that she has been so successful.  You may not realize that 80% of Lady Gaga fans have attended college—not only teenagers love imagination and innovation! Creativity makes you stand out.

We’re talking not only about a performance artist but also a successful businesswoman and an expert in personal branding. Lady Gaga knows her brand, do you?

by Valerie Huang


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