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6 Marketing Lessons From Lady Gaga

I was never a fan of Lady Gaga. I grew up in the age of Madonna rolling and gyrating all over the stage in her fetish-style costumes and Ozzy Osbourne biting the heads off bats.  Lady Gaga and her outrageous outfits and risqué lyrics didn’t faze me.  She was just another wannabe exorbitant artist that the general public was eating up and I didn’t pay much attention. That is until I saw her on 60 Minutes last night; then I realized what a marketing genius she is and gained a new respect.lada gaga marketing

She built a brand (Lady Gaga) from scratch and is now, according to Anderson Cooper, “the most talked about entertainer in the world”.  Lady Gaga didn’t get famous by accident. No, she diligently studied “the art of being famous”. This is a woman on a mission – a woman with passion and drive and I gained a whole new respect, if not for the music,  but for the business woman and brilliant marketer she is.

Here are 6 Marketing Lessons from Lady Gaga:

  1. Master the “Art of Fame” Lady Gaga didn’t become famous by accident.  She knows what it takes to be famous because she invested the time and energy; she studied it.  Nothing she does is by accident. She plans every outfit, every song, every interview, every moment of her life.  Are you a master of what it takes to become famous in your industry? Do you understand what others in your industry have done to make it big? Can you honestly say you KNOW what it takes to make your business as successful as you want it to be and that you plan each and every action with achievement of that goal in mind?
  2. Know your audience and connect Lady Gaga knows her audience, she has a huge fan base of young and old who feel disconnected and disenfranchised in the world and she speaks to and connects with them in her music, her image and her interviews.  She moves them because she understands them so well.  Who are your “fans”/customers?  What moves them and what do you do to move them? What do you do on every level to connect with them?
  3. Be inspirationalPeople are drawn to positive people, businesses, and outcomes. If you aren’t excited about your business, no one will be. Lady Gaga embraces and uplifts the insecure, outcast, “freak” in us all. Hers is a message of self empowerment and self acceptance- and that has helped her succeed.  What is your message to the world?
  4. Make it personal – Lady Gaga uses her own experience to connect.  She grew up feeling like an outcast; she was different.  But instead of using it to isolate herself she turned it into a way to connect to others.  How can you tell your story to connect with your customers and prospects? What need, problem, or niche do you fill that is lacking in peoples’ lives?  People connect with people – make it personal!
  5. Be outrageous – No one ever got famous or popular by being timid. Lady Gaga made a truckload of money and became a worldwide phenomenon by taking risks and by standing out from the crowd – by being outrageous. What can you do in your own industry to stand out and be outrageous? Don’t be afraid to take risks- don’t follow the crowd.
  6. Change it up sometimes – Never be boring! Every time you see Lady Gaga she’s sporting a different look. She’s always outrageous, always edgy and always true to her brand – but she’s always fresh and new and exciting! How can your company and brand keep it fresh and new and exciting so that every time a customer or potential customer comes into contact with you they get a new/fresh look or perspective?  Maybe it’s a new product or service offering. Maybe it’s a new process… find a way to keep it interesting and keep your customers engaged!

Leave your comments here.

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12 Responses

    1. Carolyn

      Jessica- I am so glad you enjoyed the article! I love writing stuff people like to read, so I appreciate you taking the time to let me know you liked it! And I hope you find that it was helpful in your own business! – Carolyn

  1. This was an exceptional article! While I wouldn’t call myself an actual “fan” of Lady Gaga, every once in a while I have to head over to YouTube to get my “GaGa fix.” She’s talented and under all that stuff she sometimes puts on her face, she’s a very beautiful young lady.

    I watched an interview with Barbara Walters and I wasn’t surprised to find out how educated she is as well.

    She’s definitely a phenomenon sort of like Gene Simmons, whom I never thought was a master of seven languages and used to be a teacher! LOL

    1. Carolyn

      Karen,

      Thank you very much! Everything you wrote is pretty much what I’d thought of her before I saw the 60 minutes interview. Very bright lady who knows what she wants and what she needs to do to get it! Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to post your comment! – Carolyh

  2. I am not a big fan of her music (hey I like jazz no big deal) but I am in awe of her marketing prowess. I also respect her talent as she is an excellent pianist and very prolific composer and an even better marketer. Respect.

  3. Hi Carolyn,

    Can’t believe i ‘stumbled’ on you via Biz Sugar. I’m a huge Lady Gaga fan from both a music and marketing perspective. I see her as an influencer though that role may be cut short if she can’t sustain innovation and winds up crashing another even in a cocoon!

    I’ve recently tuned into the Kardashian sisters after watching a Piers Morgan interview. They are 100% ‘Build a brand.’ Most people say they do nothing, in fact they built a clothing line and then went about creating a celebrity to promote the clothing. I’m not a fan and I’m not even entirely sure what they do. But I do know they’re always on at least one magazine cover in local Safeway.

    Do you have 6 things we can learn from the Kardahians? Even if it kills you?

    Fiona.

    1. Carolyn

      Fiona,

      That’s awesome!!! (Stumbling across me on Biz Sugar). I know nothing about the Kardashians – except that they seem to be famous for absolutely no reason at all. I’ve never watched them, never listened to them, never paid any attention; so unfortunately, I won’t be able to write about what we can learn from them. Although, I guess the fact that I’ve even heard of them might be something to explore!

      Thanks very much for reading the post and for your comment. I really appreciate it!!! 🙂

      -Carolyn

    1. Carolyn

      Hi Stacey,

      Thank you for your comment! Excellent question. I just briefly scanned your report- and it looks very interesting! I will definitely spend more time on it.

      Without reading your report and doing more research on the influencer vs. popular question, I’m not sure I can answer whether Lady Gaga is an influence or a just popular… – or maybe she just hasn’t been around quite long enough to determine that.

      Off the top of my head, I’d say that the biggest and most enduring brands are probably influencers; not merely popular. I think that for a small business to “make it REALLY big” they’d have to strive for influencer status. Being popular isn’t enough. Popularity ebbs and flows, times change, people change. There are thousands of products and brands that were popular at one time and have faded into oblivion (hoola hoops, one-hit-musical-wonders, and the ford pinto!). Conversely, there are only a few businesses and brands that truly attain influencer status (Facebook, Apple, Coca-Cola), and those are the ones that make it huge and endure. That doesn’t mean that just being popular can’t be profitable There are tons of “follower” companies and brands out there that have made millions.

      So, to answer your question, I think a small business owner should decide what they want out of their business and how far they want to take it. Do they want to build a business that’s going to be around for their grandchildren to run? If so, they might want to work on being an influencer. Or do they just want to make their million and move on? In that case, they’d probably be quite content just being popular!

      Thanks for reading the post and for your thought-provoking comment!
      -Carolyn

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