for the Creatives

Learning marketing from the best: Lady Gaga

I’ve been obsessed with Gaga – as a musician, but moreso as a businesswoman – for quite awhile. So as I plan to launch a book, why would I learn marketing from anyone else?

Unfortunately at this point, Gaga doesn’t know I exist. Maybe if I learn her marketing strategies, it’ll change that 😉 But I can’t just hop on the phone and ask her how she got so big yet.

So I googled. A lot. (Links to all the articles I read below, so you can check them out yourself!)

Here’s what I found:

  1. She’s more than just music. Or in my case, more than just the books. She has a whole identity that surrounds it. You don’t just think of a song when you think of Gaga, you think about the whole shebang, her brand. You think of her outfits. You think of her activism. You think of her Little Monsters. You think of her meat dress. Maybe you think of her social media interactions.
  2. She’s all about spectacle. She’s memorable. She intentionally sets herself apart from the crowd. She gets people to talk about her. Whether they like her or not, they’ll be talking. That’s marketing, when it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad press, it’s still spreading the word. Shock and awe. I’m alllllll about that 😉 Causing an emotionally charged response from the audience gets people chatting.
  3. She partners with other brands. Which despite being mentioned in multiple articles, I still wonder if the fame is more the cause of the partnerships than the partnerships being the cause of her fame. But still. Collaboration and partnerships are a great thing. I am working on collabs with other artists more, but I don’t have a partnership with a perfume company yet, so *sigh*.
  4. She created a community. The fans are a family, they really feel connected to Gaga. She interacts with them through social media. They have a name. They have a symbol, the “paws up” hand gesture. And they have a cause. When they become a fan, they really become a part of something.
  5. She has a message, a cause. She fights for the misfits and outcasts. Besides just having a cause, which in and of itself helps, she went for the super-cause. The underdog effect gives the world something to root for, and she goes right for that.

Bonus: this student studied 100 Gaga tweets to analyze a strategy, so make what you want of this. I’m noticing that a whole lot more tweets are about fans and causes than about awards and albums.

gaga

Caveat: Unfortunately people tend to study how people become famous after they became famous. Darn it! AmIright? At that point it’s hard to sift between what actually made them famous and what they now do since they are famous. I tried to study articles from throughout her career a bit, but that doesn’t mean any of it is necessarily what launched her fame of course. So I guess what I’m saying is *results may vary,  don’t sue me or her if you’re not famous next week*. Oh and on that note, this isn’t an all-encompassing list, because also she’s talented and smart and worked hard and a billion other things I didn’t take the time to write about as well.

Here’s where I found all of this stuff, so you can study more:

I wanted to approach moreso like a scholar than a fangirl, so of course I started with the textbook about her, from the Lady Gaga & the Sociology of Fame university class. And by I started there, I mean I read the free part on Amazon since purchasing the full item is out of my pricerange. There’s a whole bunch of it that I didn’t get to read and study, so maybe I’m missing the coolest part and you should check it out 🙂

Then I read articles by the author/professor of Gaga & the Sociology of Fame. If I can’t get the book, I’ll still get some of the good stuff 😉 Those articles are here, here, and here.

Then I expanded to what other people said about the Gaga effect:

And finally I stumbled across a student’s honor’s project on Lady Gaga. Finally, someone else who had this crazy idea that someone could learn something from her! Sooo if you’re looking for scholarly but accessible, this is it 🙂

 

What that means for me and you:

I’m all about the spectacle and the costuming. I want to run with that even more than I already do.

I have some ideas for making my book launch a little different, but gosh I could use extra ideas.

What’s a great spectacle way to launch a book? Tell me your ideas, and tell me how Gaga inspires your marketing.

 

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2 thoughts on “Learning marketing from the best: Lady Gaga”

  1. This is so interesting! Lady Gaga is one of those people who I consider to be a fascinating and really, quite an underrated figure in terms of intelligence, and I don’t say that about a lot of people. To me, not every celebrity is fascinating: I’m talking about the people who you could listen to for hours like J.K. Rowling, Oprah, Miriam Margolese – and I would have to say Lady Gaga is also on that list. I don’t think she’s given enough credit for how smart she is!

    1. It’s true, she isn’t known for her intelligence and business-savvy, but she’s sure got it in spades! I admire her combination of talent, hustle, and strategy.

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