There is an awful lot you can learn about marketing from Stefani, the creative genius behind Lady Gaga.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, otherwise known as Lady Gaga, has been named the richest female artist of 2011 – beating her rivals by raking in £58m this year alone. She made it to number one of the Top-Earning Women In Music List, compiled by Forbes. The success was mainly due to the earnings she made from her latest CD, Born This Way, although her endorsement deals, which include the likes of Polaroid, Virgin Mobile, Monster Cable and PlentyOfFish.com have helped.
I am a great fan of Lady Gaga; not just for her music, but particularly for the way she has both positioned and packaged herself. There is an awful lot about marketing you can learn from her. True of any brand that has achieved such success in a very competitive market.
First and foremost, she has created a wonderful brand, Lady Gaga. Gaga means excessively and foolishly enthusiastic, infatuated or crazy. Lady, a somewhat contrasting and dated idea, a woman who is polite refined and well spoken, or of high social position. If you have ever seen Stefani interviewed you will know she is not only well spoken but she is extremely clever and articulate. Although she may only be 25 years old, she appears to be pretty in control and largely responsible for her own success. To many, her highly stylised performances are a little crazy. As a performer her personification of her brand is somewhat controversial at times and surreal. Performance art in fact, that strongly differentiates the (entertainment) service that she sells.
In her creative and personal independence she is an aspirational character for her target audience. A mischievous intelligence that has established her as a role model, self-esteem booster for her fans, trailblazer and fashion icon who has breathed new life into the pop music industry. Oh, and she can sing a bit too!
Lady Gaga shot to fame in 2008 and, like Madonna before her, has used her crafted but, to my mind, genuine difference to court controversy. This can be very effective at getting you noticed, a multiplier and accelerator of growth if you are also good and, like they both did, distinctively capture “the spirit of the age”.
Beneath all the packaging she is a fantastic songwriter and musician, but many a talented musician have not been able to commercialise their talent like she has. She really is a great marketeer. Her voice has been compared to Madonna’s, an arguably less sophisticated brand, but one that STAYED DIFFERENT over many years. It will be interesting to see if Lady Gaga can do the same thing.