Friday, August 12, 2011

LOVE ME OR HATE ME, BUT YOU CAN’T IGNORE ME

This is a brand that has made the world sit up and take notice, for not only is it worth millions, but it also teaches us important lessons in Brand Building. The day she changed her name from Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta and rebranded herself as Lady Gaga, a star was born, both for the music world and the business world. Single handedly, this ‘Lady’ has shown the world how to build a brand and how to do business in today’s crowded market place.

A BUSINESS MODEL OF THE FUTURE

Lady Gaga is not just a singer, she is the way of doing business in the future. If you want to ensure that your brand will survive in 2025, it’s time to learn some quick lessons from the Lady. She understands the system the best.

The business model of the future has some new rules now. However, some ground rules never change. For starters, your product has to be good. Everything depends on this. Like all good brands, she first ensured that her product is good. Yes, her music is good and she can sing. She works hard on her lyrics, writes them, conceptualizes the music, the video and the costumes. Working on her piano, she ensures that her “core product” i.e. her music is of great quality. We all know one simple fact; no amount of brand building will do you good if your product is not world class. Secondly, you need to understand your audience very well. You need to keep a finger on the pulse of the audience. No one has been able to understand the market the way she does.

She knows what excites them and what intrigues them. Many may find her costumes outlandish, but they work for her and her fans wait for her next appearance, just to see what it is that she would wear next. Whatever she does, she has them eating out of her hands. The third lesson one learns from this entertainer is the benefit of staying “in-the-news” all the time. This is not an option, but it’s a necessity of today.

In today’s market place, if you are ignored, you are doomed. That is one thing this Lady has mastered. She cannot be ignored. Every appearance of hers is well thought of and crafted. Be it a bird’s nest, a model of the solar system on her head, or be it her meat dress, she never fails to grab attention. In fact, she will go to any extent to grab attention. In one of her interviews, she recalled an incident where, during her early days of struggle, she was playing at a bar (in USA) filled with drunken NYU students and no one paid a hoot to what she was playing. She says, “I started playing in underwear at the piano,” and suddenly everyone was looking at her and listening to her song.

Just creating a buzz is not enough; you need to know the right places to create the buzz. The audience of the future will be spending a lot of time in cyberspace. Whenever Lady Gaga makes an appearance, she does it with one intention – to create the maximum buzz there. With over 145 million blogs in cyberspace, more than 50,000 new blogs being created everyday and over one million new blog posts being posted each day, the internet is a very crowded place today. To get noticed, to be written about by maximum people, requires a very sharp marketing mind. Gaga has her moves scripted so well, for she knows exactly how to get talked about. Just a great product will not get you noticed. You need to get the tongues wagging. Gaga cares not whether or not you like her, all she cares aboutis the degree of buzz that every act of hers will generate. While she works on her music, she meticulously works on how to make clips that would be lapped up by YouTube, how to dress and what to speak, so that the twitter world will start chattering! Brands too have to ensure that if they want to survive, they must have a strong presence in the cyber world, for the audience of the future is going to be here.

Her every act is a practiced, well prepared and well targeted marketing gimmick, to help build the Lady Gaga Brand. She obsesses about every little detail and it pays. Businesses of tomorrow have to remember, that if their products are not being talked about, they would disappear soon, however good their quality.

CHANGE YOURSELF AND YOUR CUSTOMERS

To be constantly talked about, you need to keep doing new and different things. Your brand needs to keep innovating all the time to grab that “top-of-the-mind” awareness in the consumer’s mind. Be it Madonna, or Kishore Kumar, or Lady Gaga or Big B. They all kept experimenting, kept changing, kept reinventing themselves and dared to do things others would not. They survived. Probably a lot more talented artists didn’t.

There is no perfect recipe for success. In today’s market place, brands need to move quickly. They need to know what’s cool, what’s new, and change themselves accordingly. At Cannes 2011, in June, Publicis & Contagious introduced a new concept called the “Five Percent Club”. They urged brands to take risks and invest 5 percent of their media spends into something different, something creative, outrageous and not just depend on the mundane, 30 second advertising commercial to build their brands. Heineken found a new way of engaging viewers during a football game. No, they did not just advertise, but introduced an interesting iPhone application, which rewarded viewers with points (that they could redeem later) every time they guessed the winner correctly before the game ended.

To survive, one needs to change their way of thinking. The companies of tomorrow will only be those who are willing to scrap conventional ideas, who are willing to try out new stuff and most importantly, who are willing to fail – just like Gaga who has never been spotted in an ordinary pair of jeans ever. She is always dressed to suit her image, for every second she is doing some different stuff – with just one purpose – to be noticed. Your marketing plan too should be such that every penny spent is for the purpose of making your brandstand distinctly apart from the competitor. Get noticed, you will get customers.

Until now, it was the job of the advertisers and marketers to change the audience. Before 1948, diamond rings were not synonymous with engagement or marriage the world over. Then came a campaign, “A Diamond is Forever,” and changed our thinking forever. Even in India, marriages used to be traditionally associated with gold jewellery, but De Beers, with its intelligent advertising changed that too. By linking the eternity of a diamond (it’s the hardest substance on Earth) to the eternity of a bond, it changed cultures. While everybody in America was manufacturing, marketing and selling long, sleek cars, the VW Beetle changed the people’s perceptions with the help of its “Think Small” ad campaign. Santa Clause used to be depicted as a skinny, stern, and scary figure, until Coca Cola created the chubby, cute and cherry Santa, and changed the perceptions of the world. All sports shoes were more or less similar until Nike changed it all. It is impossible to differentiate vodka on the basis of mere taste, but Absolute differentiated its product on the basis of its unique advertising and created a niche market where none existed. Marketers have changed audiences and their perceptions, but this new generation of customers is different & marketers need to change their ways to adapt to this audience.

Times are changing fast and so are the rules of marketing. Today, you need to stand out, shout out, and look out (for new trends) or else be prepared to be shut out (forgotten) by the consumers. The biggest fear for a brand is if it fails to get attention. Lady Gaga and other shrewd marketers know only one success principle, “Love me or hate me, but you can’t ignore me.”

12 comments:

  1. In these very columns I had written about the transition of Brand India. I had delved into the world’s acknowledgment of India’s tour de force and its need to combine hard and soft power to make a mark on the world stage. As one of the world’s fastest growing economies, India has certainly made the world sit up and take notice. The world has taken note of India Inc’s global expansion.

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  2. Love is a strong emotion, and I think you are getting ahead of yourself. You don't really even know this girl. You are very attracted to her and want to get to know her, but I don't think it is love, yet. Try saying hi when you pass her in the hall, wave to her from across the quad, show her that you are a nice guy (I know guys don't want to be put in that category), but girls just want a nice, sincere and honest guy. We can over come almost anything if you have a good personality and treat us with respect. Do you have a class together? If you do, make it a point to say a few words to her. You may blush at first, but after a few tries you will find that it isn't so bad. Look at her backpack and/or folder, what does she enjoy? That is what you talk to her about. I would suggest that if you do attract her attention, slow down with the love talk. It will scare her away. Good luck

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  3. As communications professionals are acutely aware, great shifts in economic, social, political and technological behavior are afoot, altering the fundamental project of Public Relations. India is at the locus of many of these changes. As one of the most dynamic economies, with one of the fastest-growing middle classes, with the world’s largest democracy, it is possible that these shifts, and their impact on the way companies communicate with consumers, are felt more profoundly here than in any other market.

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  4. The Irish have a saying, "Love me if you will; hate me if you must; but for God's sake, don't ignore me." I wish to address this saying to God. There are three significant ideas here: to be loved, to be hated and to be ignored. I wish to discuss these from the spiritual point of view.

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  5. 1. I was dumped by my first love and it was the worst things I had ever gone though in my life. I couldn't eat or sleep. I lost at lest 10 lbs.
    2. I was told that it takes double amount of time that you were together to get over a person. I still think of him everyday, but I have learned to life without him. I'm very happy with my life now and I'm lucky to have found someone that loves me for me.
    3. You can never forget a pain like that. It stays with you, but like I said you learn to live with it in time.
    4. I can never forget someone that touched my life the way he did.

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  6. lady gaga is a good singer...

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  7. She received a classical training later to complete her knowledge of the piano. By the time she was eleven she was set to join Julliard School in Manhattan, though she decided it wasn't for her. Instead she went to the Convent of the Sacred Heart, a private Roman Catholic school. She was, she says, "focused, determined. I was always in a band, or in a musical. I didn't really fit in but I had friends because I'm a nice girl and fun to party with." Gaga described herself in high school as "very dedicated, very studious, very disciplined" but also "a bit insecure" as she told in a interview, "I used to get made fun of for being either too provocative or too eccentric, so I started to tone it down. I didn’t fit in, and I felt like a freak."

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  8. quit in the interest of my friends. After what happened last Saturday, it was pretty clear that one of the 4 remaining people had to leave. Bigg Boss had already started the nomination process. I felt that the others, specially Ashutosh, whom I consider as a younger brother, needed the prize money more than me. He does not even own a house and I promised to give him shelter if he does not win and I intend to stand by my word.

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  9. Singer Lady Gaga has broken her silence over the controversy surrounding the lyrics and the video of her new single 'Judas'. She has defended the offensive music video by saying that it is a 'metaphor for forgiveness'. It is not supposed to be blasphemous, but is meant more to celebrate faith than it is to challenge it.

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  10. Lady Gaga may not tickle your fancy and/or you may not like her music. But, you have to admit the woman, like Madonna, is absolutely fearless and has something to sing or say when it comes to being an artist, being outspoken, and being a humanitarian trying to make the world a better place for all people

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  11. As per article we should notice. Every trade & person depend on presently & future demand. You should be setup according market demand in every areas. Your product should be a valuable. Firstly your recognize & faith on the people. Then you can competition in the market & achieve your goal.

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  12. In coming years india will be a attractive magnet... due to our change in lifestyles marketing business have a vast scope.. internet purchasing is very common in now a days. we are upcoming and un avoidable force in international market, because of our exporting and importing... value for money also get increasing... its shows the charging of india... common lets move up..

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