Lady Gaga: Brand Queen

Branding is simplistic and complex at the same time. There are core brands, umbrella brands, corporate brands, master brands (which, by the way are essentially the same) and people wonder is Macintosh a sub brand of Apple or is it a product line brand (it is both). Is this all just a conspiracy by brandinistas and consultants to wring every last euro from our budgets or is there a method to all this?

Look no further than Lady Gaga for one answer. While she and her team may or may not have put a lot of effort into selecting her name the principle around how and why it works is delightfully simple – she has a successful core concept and everything revolves around that concept.

Like Apple, which moved up to the top spot in a global ranking of brand value this year (source: Millward Brown), Lady Gaga had flown up the brand charts. She’s controversial and as is often the case, that means we cannot get enough. And her marketing is planned, coordinated and seamlessly executed. While former Governor Tim Pawlenty may not think gays were “Born This Way” Lady Gaga has been methodically selling her new album for months prior to release. Promotional appearances were consistently attention gathering, from the meat dress to zany wardrobes that just could not be ignored to media deals and retail agreements. It started with “60 Minutes”. She previewed “Born This Way” at the Grammy’s and on American Idol in prime time. She followed with an HBO special and wowed them on Saturday Night Live. Timing is everything.

You may or not like Lady Gaga but as a marketer you have to admire her drive and her focus and her ability to orchestrate a marketing campaign. She is a good example of why and how branding works.

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