Gaga for Branding

Let's clear the air. When Lady Gaga first came on the scene, her over-the-top outfits, eccentric music videos, and overall behavior had us all pretty skeptical. We've seen time after time a pop star come onto the scene with some outrageous gimmick or attention-grabber, only to be sitting in rehab a couple years later waiting on their royalty check.

But somethings different about Gaga. She's a little (lot) out there, yes - but she also does something that most don't. She owns her brand.

Lady Gaga embraces who she is and what she's about and sticks to her guns. What seems like an outregeous gimmick to stay in the spotlight is much more than that, it's her brand identity. And it isn't going anywhere for a long time.

If you watch the video below (which is great, by the way, kudos to Google) - one of the most common questions asked is "What's the REAL Lady Gaga like?" "What's Stefani like behind the scenes?" - To which she responds that Lady Gaga IS her identity, that she isn't a totally different person backstage (except maybe a few less Kermit the Frog dresses).

There's a very valuable lesson to be learned here for every brand and business. As you sit back and think about your own brand essence and identity, is it a reflection of who you really are? Or are you trying to be something you think others want to see? Is it an act to put yourself or your business in the spotlight?

It's why Groupon is great for grabbing attention and getting customers into your doors, while RewardMe is outstanding and more valuable with it's focus on establishing long-term customer loyalty.

Wearing ridiculous costumes and auto-tuning your choruses may get you immediate attention, but owning your brand identity and committing to it will make you an icon in your industry.

Oh yeah, and happy belated birthday, Gaga.

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  • Bridget |

    Don’t get me wrong — I love Lady Gaga. But the timing of this post was more than coincidental. I was just having a conversation with a friend last night about Gaga and if she’s a “peak-to-soon”-er or not. She is time & again compared to Madonna, but if you look at Madonna as a “brand,” she was YEARS in the making. Do you think Lady Gaga will continue to “shock & awe” audiences for years to come? Or will she fade away over time? Its hard to say…. I sort of feel like the only shock factor she has left is to come back as herself, Stefani Germanotta… or wear khaki Dockers & a button down shirt on stage or something…

    • Matt Cheuvront

      It’s impossible to say if she’ll fade away – but I think she has a long history in front of her. The point of this post was to (sort of) debunk that she’s simply doing all that she is for “shock value” – that’s what I thought initially – but from the outside looking in (which may not be saying much) I think she represents something different because she lives and breaths the Lady Gaga persona. It’s more than an act, it’s an identity.

      Of course if she ends up in rehab in a couple years from now barely surviving off those royalty checks that I mentioned above, then I’ll stand corrected. But the fact that she owns her brand identity and doesn’t shy away from it (or at least hasn’t so far) is something that every brand can learn from.

  • Bridget |

    All valid points! I just like to play devils advocate. She does definitely OWN her brand!

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